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Iran Press TV

Bird flu shutters N England farm

Iran Press TV

Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:20PM GMT

A duck-breeding farm in northern England has been closed off over an outbreak of bird flu.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says it might be linked to outbreaks in the Netherlands and Germany, but said it had yet to identify the strain, although the deadly H5N1 had been ruled out.

Press TV's UK Desk contacted Defra for more information and obtained the following statement from a communications officer:

"We have confirmed a case of avian flu on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire – the public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain. We are taking immediate and robust action which includes introducing a 10km restriction zone and culling all poultry on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection. A detailed investigation is ongoing," adding that "We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK."

Now the government's chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens, says officials are looking at any possible links to outbreaks of bird flu in the Netherlands and Germany.

Dutch authorities on Sunday banned the transport of poultry nationwide after the discovery at a farm of the 'highly pathogenic' form of avian influenza that is very dangerous to birds and can contaminate humans.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 400 people, mainly in Southeast Asia, since 2003. Another strain, H7N9, has claimed more than 170 lives since emerging in 2013.


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