Bird flu outbreak on farm with 1km zone put in place as 4,500 set to be culled

A farm in the UK notified authorities of an outbreak of bird flu, which has prompted a 1km restriction zone around the area.

The specific farm has not been identified by officials, but it is in Cheshire and houses around 4,500 birds, Manchester Evening News reported.

Workers at the site raised the alarm when they noticed animals were becoming unwell and test results later identified a strain of avian flu.

Defra, Public Health England, Cheshire West and Chester West Council, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency are working together to contain the outbreak.

It is a low pathogenic case, meaning it’s likely to cause death in birds, but it is hard to spot in the early stages so a restriction zone has been set up.

The 1km restriction zone affects between 200 and 300 properties in the area, but the council have stressed it has been imposed to prevent the movement of birds, not people.

Public Health England said the risk to public health is very low and added there was no connection to coronavirus.

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Council officials will travel door-to-door in the restricted zone to explain the situation and check if poultry is kept in those homes.

Birds in the area, including those at the farm, are being humanely culled to stop the spread.

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Ian Ashworth, director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "The risk to public health from the virus is very low and avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk.

"We are working locally to support residents, local business and premises that may be affected."

People keeping birds are urged to look out signs for ill birds and to make sure that they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should not pick them up and report them to the DEFRA helpline – 03459 33 55 77.

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