No bird flu found at second farm

Turkeys at the second culled farm have tested negative for avian flu, it was confirmed today.The slaughter of 5,500 turkeys at Grove Farm, Botesdale, has now been completed and Defra's laboratory tests have shown no sign of the highly-pathogenic strain of H5N1 in the birds.

Turkeys at the second culled farm have tested negative for avian flu, it was confirmed today.

The slaughter of 5,500 turkeys at Grove Farm, Botesdale, has now been completed and Defra's laboratory tests have shown no sign of the highly-pathogenic strain of H5N1 in the birds.

Defra's acting chief vet, Fred Landeg, took the decision to “slaughter on suspicion” the second flock of free-range turkeys at Botesdale - close to the site of the first outbreak farm at Redgrave.

When Animal Health officials arrived at the farm, they found between 30 and 50 dead turkeys and decided on Wednesday that the flock should be culled as a priority. However, the news that these birds were negative will be welcome news to the poultry industry.

Defra slaughtered all 6,500 turkeys, geese and ducks at Park Farm, Redgrave, when tests on Monday confirmed the presence of the H5 strain, later revealed to be the H5N1 virus.

Now, Defra are awaiting results of laboratory tests on the 1,000 ducks and 500 geese at Redgrave and it is hoped that results will be known later today.

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It is quite possible that the geese or some of the geese may shows signs of avian flu because they were housed close to the turkey flocks, which have since been slaughtered.

Defra has begun the culling of birds at Hill Meadow farm today and has indicated that it anticipates starting the culling at Stone House and Bridge farms also later today, according to a statement from Redgrave Poultry, on behalf of Gressingham Foods.

To date, Defra's tests have shown no evidence of avian influenza at any of the five farms other than Redgrave Park.

Suffolk County Council has warned all poultry keepers that all birds must be housed inside the 3km protection zone and also inside the wider 10km (6mile) radius zone around the Redgrave farm - the centre of the first infection.

And poultry keepers in the wider restriction zone must also follow the same strict biosecurity requirements.

If you are directed by a veterinary inspector on welfare or other grounds to isolate your birds instead of housing them, you must make sure that you:

ensure there is no contact with poultry or captive birds on other premises

cover all food and water so there is no access for wild birds

minimise contact with wild birds and use wild bird deterrents

have stringent biosecurity controls in place

check the welfare of your birds daily for signs of disease, and

report any signs of disease to your vet immediately or to Animal Health.

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