Farms test negative for bird flu

TURKEYS culled at two farms because of fears they had been exposed to bird flu have tested negative for the disease.Stone House, in West Harling, and Bridge Farm, in Pulham, both in Norfolk, were among four farms where birds were slaughtered after concerns they had "dangerous contact" with an outbreak of deadly H5N1 avian flu in Redgrave, near Diss.

TURKEYS culled at two farms because of fears they had been exposed to bird flu have tested negative for the disease.

Stone House, in West Harling, and Bridge Farm, in Pulham, both in Norfolk, were among four farms where birds were slaughtered after concerns they had "dangerous contact" with an outbreak of deadly H5N1 avian flu in Redgrave, near Diss.

But the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said initial tests on the turkeys were negative for the virus.

All the farms were operated by the same company, Redgrave Poultry, which runs Redgrave Park farm where the initial outbreak was discovered.

Flocks at the four “dangerous contact” farms were assessed as being at risk of having been exposed to the disease because all five sites shared the same staff.

On Monday, tests showed birds at Hill Meadow Farm in Knettishall on the Norfolk/Suffolk border had been infected with H5N1.

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Another of the farms, Grove Farm, Botesdale, close to the first infected site, was upgraded to a slaughter on suspicion of having the disease last week after dozens of birds were found dead by officials.

But initial tests on 5,500 turkeys slaughtered found the premises was free of disease.

In all, almost 30,000 turkeys, ducks and geese have been culled in a bid to prevent the deadly virus spreading.

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