Parishes urged to help contain bird flu

A rallying cry went out to parish councils tonight as the authorities asked for help in getting the infection control message across in the light of the bird flu outbreak at Holton.

A rallying cry went out to parish councils tonight as the authorities asked for help in getting the infection control message across in the light of the bird flu outbreak at Holton.

Public protection representatives turned out at a meeting of 14 parish councils in the Halesworth area to call on local knowledge in a bid to control the spread of the disease.

Tight restrictions have been put in place to stop the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu reaching beyond the Bernard Matthews turkey farm and factory.

And plans that will send a Suffolk County Council representative to every property where birds are kept inside the protected zone, within a 3km radius of the poultry plant, will be boosted by the promise of support from Blythburgh, Wissett and Wangford.

Parish councillors promised to use their local knowledge to pass on key messages to those with chickens in their gardens, such as Defra instructions to keep them indoors.