Panic at Bernard Matthews poultry farm after an outbreak of BIRD FLU

April 17, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Restrictions have been put in place at an East Anglian poultry farm after an outbreak of BIRD FLU.

Tests are being carried out after signs of the disease were spotted at the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk.

Environment agency Defra confirmed it had been detected but said initial tests were negative for the H5 and H7 strains which are potential lethal for humans.

However, movement restrictions were today in place at the farm and officials have refused to reveal the exact location of it.

A Defra spokesman said: “We are awaiting further laboratory test results from an on-going investigation into suspect avian disease at a premises in the South East.

“The premises remains under restriction pending further results.

“Public Health England are aware and are ready to take the necessary action pending further test results.”

The lockdown comes after fears of a new epidemic spreading from China where five deaths have been confirmed from the new H7N9 strain of the virus.

There have been a further 11 confirmed cases of the virus which has not previously been seen in humans – but no evidence of it yet spreading from China.

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus which appears to treatable with anti-influenza drugs Tamiflu and Relenza.

Bernard Matthews died in November 2010 but his company still runs 56 farms across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

A company spokesman said: “Bernard Matthews can confirm that Defra have undertaken tests for avian influenza on one of its farms following notification by the company after some birds showed signs of ill health over the weekend.

“The tests have detected the presence of an avian influenza virus, but Defra have confirmed it is not the highly pathogenic types H5 or H7.

“As a precaution, the farm remains currently under movement restrictions but these are expected to be lifted in the next few days.

“Bernard Matthews’ other operations continue to run as normal.”

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