Just when we thought we were in the clear, Defra confirmed yesterday evening the country’s 11th AI outbreak in a small flock of backyard chickens at a farm near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire. Read the news here.
A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the infected premises. The flock is estimated to contain around 30 birds. A number have died and the few remaining live birds at the premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. Initial indications are that there are at least 10 commercial premises in the PZ.
It comes at a time when industry was looking ahead to country freedom on 21/07/17. This is a huge setback and it is unlikely country freedom can be declared until mid-August at the earliest.