A second avian flu outbreak has been confirmed on a commercial turkey farm in Lincolnshire, close to the farm where the disease struck a farm before Christmas.
Defra said it had identified H5N8 on 16 January at the premises in East Lindsey. Some birds at the premises have died and the remaining birds will be humanely culled. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone around the infected premises have been put in place to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
“This will come as a real set back to the industry as a whole and particularly to those businesses affected by the previous case in December,” said Gary Ford, NFU Chief Poultry Adviser. “We understand that this case was reported promptly to Defra which is welcome as it will aid in disease control and eradication. We stand by ready to support our affected members in the area.”
The new outbreak comes just days after the previous protection zone, introduced following the December outbreak, was lifted on 9 January.
While this is the second confirmed outbreak in commercial flocks in the UK, on 6 January, a case of avian influenza H5N8 was confirmed in a small backyard flock of chickens and ducks on a premises near Settle in North Yorkshire.
On 4 January Defra announced that the Prevention Zones in place across GB will remain in place until 28 February 2017. Keepers of poultry and captive birds must “house” them away from wild birds. They must maintain biosecurity and keep a close watch on the health of their birds.
Poultry keepers and the public are reminded to remain vigilant, to follow our advice on biosecurity, and to comply fully with the prevention zone and temporary gatherings ban. The risk to kept birds cannot be eliminated by housing alone. This virus can be carried into buildings on people and things to infect birds. Good biosecurity measures are essential.
Public Health England advise that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency say that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.