AI Contingency Planning

Bird flu: Two new cases confirmed in Lancashire

Defra has confirmed the country’s twelfth case of H5N8 avian flu in backyard flock of chickens and ducks at a farm near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.

A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading. The flock contains nine birds. A number had died and the remaining live birds at the premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

This comes just two days after Avian Influenza was confirmed in a backyard flock of around 30 birds at another farm near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire. A number of which died and the remaining were humanely culled.

BPC Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said: “The poultry meat industry has shown an exemplary level of patience since the first case of bird flu was declared in December last year and we have been working tremendously hard towards implementing effective solutions to deal with the outbreak. The health of our birds remains the top priority for BPC members up and down the country and we will continue practicing the highest levels of biosecurity.”

Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

The BPC will continue to work with Defra and member companies to minimise the risk of further outbreaks and the impact on international trade.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone remains in place across all of England until 15 May.

Read Defra’s advice for keepers of backyard flocks.

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