The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just announced that the strain of avian flu found in turkeys on a Suffolk farm is the dreaded H5N1.
Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Fred Landeg made the announcement at a press conference in London. All birds at the affected premises – including approximately 5,000 turkeys, 1,000 ducks and 500 geese – will be slaughtered.
A large number of British Police officers are at the entrance to the farm, and vehicles are being sprayed with a jet hose.
The DEFRA official while making the announcement said that the lineage of the virus found on the Suffolk farm is similar to the the dreaded H5N1 found in domestic hens in the Czech Republic in July, and in both domestic poultry and wild birds in Germany earlier this year.
He said that even though the migrating wild birds do visit the lake nearby, he could not be sure that the wild birds are the source of the virus at the free range poultry farm.
Significantly, the infamous Barnard Matthews Turkey Factory Farm is also only 20 miles away from the Suffolk farm where the current outbreak of the virus has been found.
It was confirmed yesterday that the birds had the H5 strain of the disease. There are 5,000 turkeys, plus 1,500 duck and geese on the farm, near Diss, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.
The birds, which are by owned by Gressingham Foods, will all be slaughtered.
Overnight 10 per cent of turkeys in one of the farm’s sheds died showing a higher than “normal mortality rate”.
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