Bird flu: Thousands of turkeys to be culled after outbreak at North Yorkshire farm | UK News


More than 10,000 turkeys are to be culled at a farm in North Yorkshire after an outbreak of bird flu.

It comes after avian influenza of the H5N8 strain was confirmed at a turkey fattening premises near Northallerton.

An exclusion zone has been put in place around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading, and a detailed investigation is in under way to try and pinpoint the most likely source of the outbreak.

It is not expected to have an impact on the supply of turkeys or other birds over Christmas.

Public Health England (PHE) has said the risk to public health from the virus is very low.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss, said: “Avian flu has been confirmed at a commercial turkey fattening farm near Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Immediate steps have been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and all the remaining turkeys at the farm will be culled.

“PHE has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.

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“Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it.”

Dr Gavin Dabrera, consultant in acute respiratory infections at PHE said: “To date the World Health Organisation has never confirmed any cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to the public is considered very low.”

A Food Standards Agency spokesman said bird flu poses a very low food safety risk, and added: “Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”

Wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.