Bird flu hits game farm

Bird flu has hit a game farm in Lancashire. DEFRA says it will oversee the slaughter of 10,000 pheasants after the H5N8 strain of avian flu was confirmed by the UK’s chief veterinary officer. Some of the birds have already died.

DEFRA has put in a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone around the infected area, and it is trying to determine the source of the infection. Experts report that the flu will have come from migrating birds feeding alongside the pheasants.

Public Health England says the risk to public health from the virus is “very low” – however this kind of flu can mutate quickly and transfer to humans. The Food Standards Agency says bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

The last case in the UK was in a flock of about 6,000 turkeys at a Lincolnshire farm on 16 January 2017.