Bird flu outbreak confirmed at second Norfolk turkey farm

Poultry farms with more than 40,000 birds need a permit for intensive farming from the Environment A

A turkey farm near King's Lynn has become Norfolk's second confirmed bird flu case in 24 hours - Credit: PA

A turkey farm near King's Lynn has become Norfolk's second confirmed case of bird flu within 24 hours.

Animal health officials have confirmed the highly-pathogenic H5N8 strain of avian influenza in rearing turkeys at a premises between Gayton and East Winch.

Defra says all birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease.

It follows the case confirmed on Friday night at a farm near Attleborough which has already prompted the culling of up to 30,000 birds in the run-up to Christmas - a crucial time for East Anglia's poultry industry.

A Defra spokesman said: "A veterinary investigation is on-going on this site to identify the likely source of infection and establish how long the disease may have been present on the infected premises."

A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around both the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Protection zones around bird flu site in King's Lynn

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around a turkey farm near King's Lynn where an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed on December 5. - Credit: Defra


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Those zones include increased biosecurity and reporting requirements for poultry keepers including isolating or housing birds, restrictions on the movement of poultry, eggs, meat and carcases.

Protection Zone and Surveillance Zone for Norfolk bird flu outbreak December 2020

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around a turkey farm near Attleborough where an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed on December 4. - Credit: Defra

There has been a growing number of bird flu cases across the country this year, but these are the first two confirmed cases of the "highly pathogenic" strain in Norfolk since 2017.

On Friday, chief vets announced that a mandatory housing order would be enforced from December 14, requiring all poultry keepers, including free-range and back-yard flocks, to keep their birds indoors to prevent the spread of the disease.

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Public Health England (PHE) advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

  • Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers must report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301.

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