UK's bird flu strain 'same as in Europe'

UK's bird flu strain 'same as in Europe'

The strain of bird flu found on a duck breeding farm in the UK is the same as one recently identified in the Netherlands and Germany, the UK's Environment Department has said.

The culling of 6,000 ducks at the farm in Nafferton, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, where the “highly pathogenic” virus has been found, is now under way, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the disease was the H5N8 strain, the same as the strain confirmed at a chicken farm in the central province of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and in Germany.

But the advice from the chief medical officer and Public Health England remained that the risk to public health from the virus is “very low” and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers, she said.

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