Poultry club chairman says news of suspected bird flu outbreak is a “constant worry”
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The chairman of a poultry club has spoken of her fears following a suspected bird flu outbreak near the Norfolk-Suffolk border.
The Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Poultry Club, which has its headquarters at Grange Farm in Barsham, near Beccles, holds three shows a year, and cancelled its spring show which was due to be held on Sunday after news of the outbreak first came to light.
And now a breeding farm managed by Banham Poultry in Redgrave, near Diss, has been confirmed as a site with a suspected outbreak.
Defra established a 10km Temporary Control Zone around Bridge Farm after the H5N8 strain of avian influenza was discovered on Sunday evening, but investigations are continuing to determine the exact nature of the virus and possible source of the infection.
Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Poultry Club chairman Fay Shephard said: 'I am fearful as I have quite a lot of poultry which I exhibit.
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'I have been keeping all my birds inside which has been annoying, but I am keeping them in for my interests and for their own safety.
'I just hope everybody abides by the advice and does the right thing to keep their poultry indoors.'
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The club usually has its shows in February, September and November.
Miss Shephard said: 'Normally we show the birds during this period as this is the season when their feathers are in prime condition for shows. I can't see any more shows being held at all now until after the summer as a result of this.'
Miss Shephard said she has blood lines in some birds which go back to the 1980s which she has developed and worked hard to keep pure.
'It could be a tragic outcome as so much could be lost,' she said. 'This is why I am keeping my birds inside and wearing my wellies and using disinfecting footbaths.
'I am keeping a constant eye on the birds and thank goodness all is alright - but this is a constant worry every morning and every evening feed.'
The Attleborough-based Banham Group is one of East Anglia's largest poultry producers.