Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bird Flu Returns To Britain

Thousands Of Christmas Poultry Birds Culled

More than 6000 ducks, turkey and geese were culled yesterday in East Anglia, in an effort to halt the spread of H5 bird flu virus. Wild birds are thought to be responsible for infecting poultry birds on a free range farm.

UPDATE : It has now been confirmed that the bird flu virus found on the farm is the deadly H5N1 strain. More culls are expected.

From the Times Online :

Last night Fred Landeg, the acting Chief Veterinary Officer, ordered greater surveillance throughout Suffolk and parts of Norfolk and ordered farmers to lock up their poultry, a measure that confines hundreds of thousands of free-range birds to sheds.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has also banned all pigeon-racing and halted all bird shows throughout England.

Veterinary experts believe that wild birds are the most likely cause of the disease — especially as a consignment of birds has not been brought to the farm for four weeks, and wild birds gather at a lake near the farm.

Nevertheless, movements on and off the farm, vehicles and visitors are being checked to ensure that there is no other route for the disease which could threaten other farms.

Mark Avery, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said it was possible that wild birds were a factor in this case.

“We don’t know of any recent outbreak of the deadly avian flu on the Continent but it is feasible that wild birds brought it. It is now just after the mass migration period but there was a cold weather snap in eastern Europe two weeks ago and though no big wild bird movements were noticed it is possible that an infected bird arrived here. But we need to know more about the epidemiology and the tracings before jumping to conclusions.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And apparently there's more to the story than we are being told.. according to this