Bird flu case found on British farm

Bird flu case found on British farm

There has been an outbreak of bird flu on a British duck breeding farm.

The UK's Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed at least one case of the virus at the farm in the Driffield area of East Yorkshire.

But it insisted the risk to public health is “very low”, and said it is embarking on a cull of all poultry at the stricken farm.

Meanwhile the transport of poultry and eggs throughout the Netherlands was banned yesterday after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed at a chicken farm in Hekendorp.

All 150,000 chickens at the farm, situated around 40 miles south of Amsterdam, are being culled.

The Dutch ministry for economic affairs said the outbreak is deadly to poultry and can also be transmitted to humans.

Britain's Defra confirmed the outbreak it is investigating is the H5 virus, but said it is not the H5N1 strain, which has caused serious concern in recent years.

It added that laboratory test results are expected early this week.

A Defra spokeswoman said: “We have confirmed a case of avian flu on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire – the public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain.

“We are taking immediate and robust action which includes introducing a 10km restriction zone and culling all poultry on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection. A detailed investigation is ongoing.

“We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK.”

The NHS website states: “Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious viral illness that spreads among birds. In rare cases it can affect humans.”

A Public Health England spokesman said: “Public Health England are assisting Defra in the investigation of an avian flu outbreak at a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire.

“Based on what we know about this specific strain of avian influenza the risk to human health in this case is considered extremely low.”

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