Two more cases of bird flu confirmed in Norfolk
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Two more cases of bird flu have been confirmed in Norfolk – taking the total to five.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed the latest outbreaks near Watton and Attleborough.
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 was confirmed in rearing ducks at premises in Ickburgh, near Watton, on December 28. A 3.4km Protection Zone and 10.4km Surveillance Zone has been declared around the property.
A further HPAI H5N8 was also confirmed in a non-poultry captive bird premises near Attleborough on December 26. All birds on the infected premises have been humanely culled and a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Temporary Control Surveillance Zone has been declared around the premises.
It comes following an outbreak of bird flu at a duck breeding farm, also near Attleborough, earlier this month, where a total of 8,000 birds were humanely culled in an effort to stop the spread.
Two more cases were also confirmed earlier this month, which prompted the cull of around 55,000 turkeys in the run-up to Christmas - one at a farm near King's Lynn and another at North Farm in Snetterton, around 3km away from Attleborough.
Gary Ford, East Anglia regional director for the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said the latest outbreak proved the need for all poultry keepers to comply with the new rules.
"It brings more poultry farms under movement, and controls and highlights just how great a threat avian influenza currently poses to birds.
"We would urge all poultry keepers to remain vigilant, to maintain enhanced biosecurity and to report any signs of disease in their birds to their vet or the Animal and Plant Health Agency."
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From December 14, all poultry across the country - including free-range and back-yard flocks – have been required to be kept indoors under a mandatory housing order announced by chief vets in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 and keepers must report suspicion of disease to the APHA on 03000 200 301.