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More than 10,000 turkeys to be culled after avian flu outbreak in UK

A report by The Guardian said that all 10,500 birds at the turkey fattening site in Northallerton will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | November 30, 2020 | Updated 15:01 IST
More than 10,000 turkeys to be culled after avian flu outbreak in UK
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Avian flu outbreak in North Yorkshire, UK will lead to the culling of more than 10,000 birds, said the UK government, reassuring consumers that the UK's Christmas turkey supply is unaffected by the virus.

A report by The Guardian said that all 10,500 birds at the turkey fattening site in Northallerton will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease, while a 3 km and 10km temporary control zone has been put in place to stop the disease spreading.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said avian influenza posed little risk to public health and that this particular strain of the virus (H5N8) did not affect food safety.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Food Standards Agency also assured consumers that avian influenzas posed a very low risk to people, and that properly cooked poultry products - including eggs - were safe to eat.

The UK's chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, who advises the government on animal welfare, said "immediate steps" were taken to stop the disease from spreading when it was detected at the farm on Saturday.

She added: "Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises. We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it."

About 13,500 birds were culled earlier this month following confirmation of an avian flu outbreak at a commercial farm in Helsby, near Frodsham in Cheshire.

UK and European farmers have been on alert after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza among wild and domestic birds in western Russia and Kazakhstan. Wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.

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