Bird flu outbreak on Suffolk farm

GOVERNMENT officials tonight confirmed that hundreds of turkeys on a Suffolk poultry farm had been killed by bird flu.But bosses from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) stressed that no-one should be concerned, as the exact strain of the illness has yet to be identified.

GOVERNMENT officials tonight confirmed that hundreds of turkeys on a Suffolk poultry farm had been killed by bird flu.

But bosses from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) stressed that no-one should be concerned, as the exact strain of the illness has yet to be identified.

Experts were called to the Bernard Matthews factory in Holton, near Halesworth, late on Thursday following the outbreak of an “unexplained” illness, which is thought to have killed around 1,000 turkeys.

A DEFRA spokesman said: “The State Veterinary Service has today been investigating a case of suspected avian notifiable disease on a poultry farm near Lowestoft in Suffolk.

“Preliminary tests have this evening indicated that the avian influenza virus is present in samples from poultry found dead on the premises.

“These preliminary results show that it is the H5 strain of the virus but further confirmatory tests are in progress to identify the strain more fully, and more will be known tomorrow (Saturday).

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“The affected premises were put under restriction on Thursday evening and the appropriate contingency plan has been put into effect.”

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