The Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed an outbreak of bird ’flu on a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire.
It is the first case of the disease in the UK since an outbreak on a chicken farm in Oxfordshire in 2008. Officials have established a six-mile exclusion zone around the Yorkshire farm (believed to be in the village of Nafferton), where around 6,000 ducks are expected to be culled.
A Defra spokesman said: “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 restriction zone and culling all poultry on the farm to prevent any potential spread of infection. A detailed investigation is ongoing.
“We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian ’flu in the UK.”
UK chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens told the BBC it was a serious disease of poultry and it would be a few days before the exact strain would be known.
“The link to the disease they found in Germany and the Netherlands is our most likely source and, on that basis, Public Health England has said with this strain there is not a risk to public health,” he said.
Mr Gibbens added the farm’s bio-security was good and they were checking other poultry farms in the exclusion zone.