Bird flu confirmed at Lincolnshire turkey farm

Bird flu has been confirmed in a flock of about 6,000 turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The H5N8 strain of avian flu - the same as that found in a flock of turkeys on a nearby farm on December 16 - was confirmed by the UK's chief veterinary officer.

A number of birds at the farm in East Lindsey have died and those remaining will be culled.

The two cases in Lincolnshire are unlikely to be linked but an investigation is under way, Defra said.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been put in place around the affected farm to limit the risk of the disease spreading. 

It comes after H5N8 avian flu was found in flocks in Carmarthenshire, south west Wales, and Settle, North Yorkshire, earlier this month.

Bird flu has also been detected in a number of wild birds in England, Wales and Scotland.

Public Health England has said the risk to public health from the virus is "very low".

Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said: "We have taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading with restrictions in place around the affected premises. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

"This finding reminds us that we must all be vigilant for signs of disease and take steps to minimise the risk of birds catching the disease from wild birds - either directly or through the environment.

"This means complying with the legal requirement currently in place to house birds or otherwise keep them separate from wild birds and following strict biosecurity measures to minimise the risk of avian flu spreading via the environment."

A avian influenza prevention zone was declared on December 6 and will remain in place until February 28.

It requires owners to keep poultry and captive birds indoors or take steps to separate them from wild birds. 

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