Suspected bird flu at Lancs poulty farm

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A TEMPORARY control zone has been imposed at a poultry farm in Lancashire in light of a suspect case of avian flu.

All birds at the premises will be humanely culled as a precautionary measure to limit the risk of disease spread.

The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

The restrictions mean that all poultry farms within the 10 kilometre temporary control zone around the affected premises are not allowed to move poultry and other animals.

The decision to take precautionary action has been taken based on the clinical symptoms displayed by birds at the farm and emerging laboratory findings. The investigation into the suspect case and laboratory tests are ongoing.

We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK. The outbreaks in Yorkshire last year and Hampshire in February were both successfully contained, allowing restrictions to be lifted at the earliest opportunity.

Chief Vet Nigel Gibbens said: “We have taken swift precautionary action to limit the risk of disease spreading. These measures to control the movement of poultry and humanely cull birds at the farm are part of our tried and tested approach to deal with such incidents.

“The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

“I would urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease, report suspect disease to their nearest APHA office and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

Anyone suspecting avian flu (bird flu) should immediately contact their nearest Animal and Plant and Health Agency (APHA) office.