THE UNITED KINGDOM, London. A poultry farm near Redgrave in the district of mid-Suffolk was placed under a temporary avian influenza control zone of 10 km after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H5N8 virus, the Dept. for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) reported.
The farm contains an estimated 23,000 birds which will be culled. A number of birds already have died, the agency said. “Further investigations continue into the nature of the virus detected and to establish the possible source of the infection,” Defra said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, announced a new avian influenza prevention zone that will go into force from 28 February until 30 April in Wales. A current prevention zone is set to expire by the end of February.
The new prevention zone requires poultry farms to complete a self-assessment of biosecurity measures in place on their farms. The goal of the prevention zone is to prevent interactions between domestic flocks and wild birds. Prevention measures may include keeping birds housed or permitting controlled access to outside areas with the introduction of additional risk mitigation measures.
Under the current prevention zone, poultry farmers and owners of captive birds must keep their birds indoors, take steps to prevent contact with wild birds and enhance biosecurity measures on their premises. The zone was implemented following a number of confirmed cases of avian influenza across the United Kingdom, including in a backyard flock of chicken and ducks near Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire, Wales.