Govt reviews contingency plans following UK H5N1 outbreak

Officials from the Department of Agriculture met this morning to review the latest outbreak of bird flu in the UK.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture met this morning to review the latest outbreak of bird flu in the UK.

It's been confirmed that the disease - found on a turkey farm in Suffolk - is the H5N1 strain, which can also kill humans.

About two thousand birds have died so far.

Members of the Agriculture Department's National Disease Control Centre convened this morning to assess the Suffolk outbreak.

Contingency plans have been reviewed and a number of the measures have now been stepped up.

The Department is also reassessing the risk of bird flu getting into this country in the wake of the surprise re-occurrence in Britain.

Officials have been in contact with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in London.

They have also been liaising with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Belfast and the European Commission in Brussels.

Farm Minister Mary Coughlan said she was confident that the contingency measures in place here are sufficient to deal with the renewed threat.

And she said she wouldn't hesitate to bring in any further measures if necessary.

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