30,000 Christmas Turkeys to be Culled at Farm after Bird Flu Outbreak.
At least 30,000 turkeys will have to be culled, leading to possible shortages over the Christmas period, especially if the bird flu virus spreads further. A protection zone has been put in place around the Norfolk farm, imposing extra biosecurity measures and restricting the movement of poultry, eggs and meat within a 3km radius.
Officials have not identified the actual farm at the centre of the outbreak of H5N8 strain of avian influenza, but have confirmed that an investigation is underway in Yorkshire. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) did not identify the farm at the centre of the outbreak but published a map pinpointing its location. Defra said the birds will be killed “as humanely as possible”, and said the slaughter was being carried out as a “precaution”.
Security staff in high visibility jackets have been seen by passing motorists guarding a private track at the spot leading to what appears to be polytunnel-style turkey shelters across a field.
The spokesperson said: ” A veterinary investigation is on-going on this site to identify the likely source of infection and establish how long the disease may have been present on the infected premises. “The strain of HPAI H5N8 which has been confirmed in several poultry premises in England appears closely related to the virus currently circulating in wild and captive birds in Europe.”
The spokesperson 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.”
The demand for luxury turkeys has soared as Covid halts Christmas travel plans, a drop in overseas trips by Britons and need for more small gatherings means supply is being ‘gobbled’ up.
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