Four farms set for culls

A SERIES of further culls will take place on four more farms as a “precautionary measure” in the fight to contain bird flu in Suffolk, Defra announced today.

A SERIES of further culls will take place on four more farms as a “precautionary measure” in the fight to contain bird flu in Suffolk, Defra announced today.

The four farms are known to be within the existing restricted zone and have been identified as “dangerous” sites by Government vets.

But Defra is stressing avian flu has not yet been identified on these farms but the culls will go ahead as a precautionary measure.

Acting chief veterinary officer Fred Landeg said: “At this stage we have not confirmed disease on any of these four premises. This is a precautionary measure taken to prevent any potential spread of the disease.


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“I must stress again that poultry keepers in the area must be extremely vigilant, practice the highest levels of biosecurity and report any suspicions of disease to their local animal health office.”

The strain of avian influenza at Redgrave Park Farm, near Diss, was confirmed yesterday as the highly pathogenic H5N1 type.

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This strain is similar to that found in Germany and the Czech Republic during the summer and a full epidemiological investigation into the source of the outbreak is underway, Defra said.

Meanwhile, the last of the 6,500 birds on the infected rearing site at Redgrave Park farm was being culled today.

Defra began the programme to eliminate bird flu on the farm yesterday after the alarm was raised on Sunday by poultry producer Gressingham Foods, based in Woodbridge, following turkey deaths at the farm.

Defra has confirmed there are more than four million turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese on the GB Poultry Register within the 10km (six mile) surveillance zone around the farm in Redgrave.

There are a further 25 million birds registered in the wider restricted area which covers Suffolk and much of Norfolk.

Suffolk County Council has issued a plea to the county to phone the Defra hotline at the first sign of a dead bird.

Should members of the public discover a lifeless bird in the county, they should call the hotline number on 08459 335577.

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