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Suspect case of bird flu at Lancashire farm

13 July 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is investigating a case of suspect avian flu (bird flu) in Lancashire and movement restrictions have been put in place.

bird-flu

All birds at the premises are being humanely culled as a precautionary measure to limit the risk of disease spread.

The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

The risk of getting bird flu through the food chain is very low. Some strains of avian influenza can pass to humans, but this is very rare. It usually requires close contact between the human and infected live birds. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

The restrictions mean that all poultry farms within the 10 kilometre temporary control zone around the affected premises are not allowed to move poultry and other birds.

Risk of getting bird flu ‘very low’

The decision to take precautionary action has been taken based on the clinical symptoms displayed by birds at the farm and emerging laboratory findings. The investigation into the suspect case and laboratory tests are ongoing.

Chief Vet Nigel Gibbens said, “We have taken swift precautionary action to limit the risk of disease spreading. These measures to control the movement of poultry and humanely cull birds at the farm are part of our tried and tested approach to deal with such incidents.

“The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

“I would urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease, report suspect disease to their nearest APHA office and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

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