The confirmation, late on Friday, of H5N8 in a commercial flock of turkeys near Louth, in Lincolnshire, while obviously significant for businesses within the newly established control zones, should have “little impact” in general on the Christmas market, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).
“The NFU remains in close dialogue with both Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency on this issue and we are working to support our members within this area,” said the union’s chief poultry adviser Gary Ford
“It is worth reminding people that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency has also made it clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for people.
“This is a very important time for turkey producers across the country. While this news will have significant impact on those farm businesses within the control zones we anticipate little impact on the Christmas market. People wanting to buy a British turkey for their table will still be able to do so with confidence.”
As part of the measures taken to contain and eradicate the disease, a 3km Protection Zone (PZ) and a wider 10km Surveillance Zone is in place, centred on the affected farm. This will have a significant impact on the farms within the zones because movements are restricted on and off farm.