H5N1 virus identified on British turkey farm

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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LONDON — British health officials took steps to halt the spread of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza that was identified on a turkey farm in the town of Holton. About 2,500 turkeys died of the virus on a farm owned by Bernard Matthews P.L.C., Europe’s largest turkey producer. It is the first time the H5N1 strain has been found on a British farm.

Government veterinarians are in the process of culling 159,000 turkeys on the farm. Officials also have established several "zones" around the farm. An 800 mile restriction zone has been set up. All domestic poultry within the zone must be isolated from contact with wild birds and all movement of domestic poultry by farmers must be licensed.

Closer to the farm, authorities have implemented a 1.5 mile protection zone to which access is restricted and a 6 mile surveillance zone.

All poultry-related events, including shows, markets, fairs, and pigeon races, have been banned nationwide (throughout England, Scotland and Wales) until further notice, according to the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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