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News 281 views update:Nov 26, 2007

UK: thousands more slaughtered in sixth farm bird flu culling

Yet another cull is underway at a sixth poultry farm in Suffolk as nearly 70,000 birds are culled in an effort to control the outbreak of bird flu in the country.

According to Defra officials, the latest cull - more than double the number of birds slaughtered than the other five culls combined - is a precautionary measure and falls within the existing surveillance zone. The move comes along with fears that workers at the farm have travelled to other farms that are deemed a bird flu risk. This farm supplied poultry to the farm at the centre of the outbreak.
This cull will see the slaughter of approx. 68,000 birds including 56,000 ducks, 9,000 turkeys and 3,000 geese. A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone were immediately set up, and remain in place.
A spokeswoman at Defra has stated that the farm is owned by the same company that operates Redgrave Park Farm near Diss, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, where the virus was first detected earlier this month.
Previous culls - test results
On 14 November it was confirmed that highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza had infected turkeys on the Redgrave Park Farm in Suffolk, England.
On 20 November, tests showed birds at Hill Meadow Farm in Knettishall on the Norfolk/Suffolk border had been infected with H5N1, a second premises.
On 21 November it was reported that turkeys culled at two other farms (Stone House, in West Harling, and Bridge Farm, in Pulham, both in Norfolk) over fears they had been exposed to the disease tested negative.
Another of the farms, Grove Farm, Botesdale, Suffolk was upgraded to a slaughter site on suspicion of having the disease last week, after dozens of birds were found dead by officials. However, initial tests on 5,500 turkeys slaughtered found the premises were free of disease.
 
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