Dangerous strain of bird flu confirmed on turkey farm

Updated: 

A dangerous strain of bird flu has been confirmed in turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the disease had been detected on a poultry farm near Louth.

Birds on the farm which have not already died will be culled in order to prevent the spread of the H5N8 strain, a type of highly pathogenic avian flu, Defra said.

In an update on the department's website it said: "We are taking immediate and robust action and an investigation is under way to understand the origin of the disease and confirm that there are no further cases."

It is the first confirmed case in England of a strain which had already been circulating in countries across Europe, from Poland to France.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England said the risk to people is low.

She said: "Avian flu (often called bird flu) is primarily a disease of birds. There have never been any recorded cases of H5N8 in humans and the risk to public health is considered very low.

"We continue to work closely with Defra throughout this investigation. Despite the risk being very low, we will offer health advice to those people who may have been exposed on the farm as a precaution."