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Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza In Poultry, Suffolk

15 years ago

3rd February, 2007 00h00

DEFRA-logo.gifPoultry found dead on a farm near Lowestoft in Suffolk contained the H5N1 avian flu virus, according to tests from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). It has been identified as the highly pathogenic Asian strain, similar to the virus found in Hungary in January. A Protection Zone of three kilometres radius and a Surveillance Zone of tem kilometres have been established around the premises: movement restrictions are imposed and poultry must be isolated from wild birds. A wider Restricted Zone has also been imposed, covering east Suffolk and South East Norfolk bounded to the west and the north by the A140 and A47 respectively, an area of approximately 2090sqkm. It requires the isolation of poultry from wild birds, and requires movements to be licensed. As further information becomes available the restrictions in place may be adjusted. Some movements restricted under the current rules may now be allowed (subject to specific conditions) - see the link to "General Movement Licences", below. For all other moves, application should be made to the local Animal Health Office. All bird gatherings - including shows, markets and fairs, and pigeon races - have been banned nationwide (throughout England, Scotland and Wales) until further notice (this will be kept under review as the disease situation develops). There is no reason for public health concern. Avian influenza is a disease of birds and whilst it can pass very rarely and with difficulty to humans, this requires extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly faeces. Advice from the Food Standards Agency remains that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat. Keepers of birds are urged to be vigilant and to exercise good biosecurity. Any owners that suspect disease should act quickly and consult their vet. Avian influenza is a notifiable disease and must be reported to the local Divisional Veterinary Manager in the State Veterinary Service. If you need advice on avian flu please call the Defra Helpline - 08459 33 55 77 (8.30am - 8.00pm 7 days a week) - and choose the avian influenza option. If you find dead wild gulls, waders, ducks, geese or swans and you are within a survey area or are unsure whether you are in a surveillance area (targeted surveillance for avian influenza viruses in wild birds is ongoing) you may wish to contact the Defra Helpline (as above) and choose the avian influenza option, or check the map on the avian influenza pages on this website

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