MP praises response to bird flu outbreak

BERNARD Matthews' factory at Holton is in the Suffolk Coastal constituency of former agriculture minister John Gummer.He felt the response of the authorities to the outbreak had been very good and that criticism from some quarters was wide of the mark.

BERNARD Matthews' factory at Holton is in the Suffolk Coastal constituency of former agriculture minister John Gummer.

He felt the response of the authorities to the outbreak had been very good and that criticism from some quarters was wide of the mark.

He said: “Both Suffolk County Council and Defra officials acted very quickly to deal with the situation. Of course we all wish this had not happened but given that there has been the outbreak they have done very well.

“There are 96 farms with more than 50 birds in the area and many more people with a smaller number of birds, obviously it is a great concern to all of them.

“But we have to get the message across that this does not mean that Suffolk is closed - it is not like the foot and mouth outbreak.

“What we need to find out now is how this outbreak happened.

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“These birds are kept in closed conditions so the good news is that it should not be easy for the disease to spread from there. The bad news is how did they get this strain in the first place?”

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