Flu zone increased and birds culled

THE Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) dramatically increased the area where restrictions were in force in East Anglia to control the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu last night.

THE Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) dramatically increased the area where restrictions were in force in East Anglia to control the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu last night.

The restriction zone, in which poultry must be kept isolated from wild birds and movements must be licensed, covers 2,090 square kilometres (806 square miles) of east Suffolk and south east Norfolk.

It extends to the A47 just south of Norwich in the north, the A140 in the west, and almost to Felixstowe in the south.

The zone, which was introduced after consultation with ornithologists, is in addition to the 3km protection zone and the 10km surveillance zones already in place.


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The 159,000 birds at the Bernard Matthews farm where the outbreak occurred are being culled.

The Poultry Club National Championship show was due to be held at Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth yesterday and today but had to be called off following the new restrictions.

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A spokeswoman from Defra said all bird gathering licences had been revoked, which meant the show would not be allowed to go ahead today.

A Defra spokeswoman said that once the birds had been gassed, the carcasses were being transported in “sealed, leak-proof lorries, fully covered with tarpaulin” to a plant in Staffordshire where they would be destroyed.

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