United Kingdom

10,500 turkeys will be culled after bird flu outbreak at North Yorkshire plant

More than 10,000 turkeys will be culled at a farm in North Yorkshire following a bird flu outbreak. 

All 10,500 birds at the turkey fattening site in North Allerton will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease, and a 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place to stop the disease spreading.

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

All 10,500 birds at the turkey fattening site in North Allerton will be humanely culled to limit the spread of the disease (stock photo)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) added that avian influenza poses little risk to public health and this strain of the virus does not affect food safety. 

UK 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.'

Dr Gavin Dabrera, consultant in acute respiratory infections at PHE, said the World Health Organisation has never confirmed a case of the avian flu strain (H5N8) in humans.

He said: 'As a precaution the local Health Protection Team will offer routine health advice to those working on the farm. We will work with Defra to monitor the situation closely.'

A detailed investigation is in progress to determine the most likely source of this outbreak, but Defra has said it does not anticipate any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas.

Wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds.

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