Hundreds of birds at a farm in Kent will be culled following an outbreak of bird flu.
All 480 ducks and chickens on the site near the town of Deal will be destroyed to restrict the spread of the disease, Government has confirmed.
The outbreak of the H5N2 avian influenza at the small commercial premises was confirmed on Monday.
A 1 km restricted zone has been put in place around the site to limit the risk of the disease spreading while pressing enquires are underway for any evidence that it has fanned further.
Public Health England (PHE) says the danger to public health from the virus is extremely low and the Food Standards Agency said bird flu doesn’t pose a food safety threat for UK consumers.
Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said that avian flu has been confirmed at a small commercial premises in Kent and that prompt actions had been taken to limit the risk of the disease spreading and that all remaining poultry and captive birds at the farm would be culled.
There’s not expected to be an impact on food reserves as this company doesn’t supply poultry meat or eggs to the commercial food chain.
Christine Middlemiss added that bird keepers should stay alert for any manifestation of infection and report any suspected disease immediately and ensure they’re maintaining adequate biosecurity on their premises.
She said that they’re urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eradicate it.
Dr Gavin Dabrera, Consultant in acute respiratory infections at PHE said that bird flu is an uncommon disease in humans and the risk to the UK population remains extremely low.
He added that sick or dead birds should not be touched and to make sure to wash your hands exhaustively with soap after contact with any animal.
A thorough investigation is in progress to determine the most likely source of the outbreak.
The trouble is that these animals are kept in vast industrial sheds with hundreds of thousands of other birds with the space of only an A4 piece of paper to stand in, and it’s modern factory farming methods that make such disease outbreaks both more likely and more deadly.
This is why most farm animals are routinely dosed with antibiotics to prevent secondary infections from mutilations (animals cannibalising each other) and from faeces.
Viruses, of course, can’t be so actively prevented so you end up having these mass culls instead.