Another case of avian influenza (AI) has been confirmed in game birds at premises in Lancashire, the UK’s chief veterinary officer has revealed.

The H5N8 strain of avian influenza was discovered in a flock of farmed breeding pheasants in Lancashire.

The H5N8 strain of AI was discovered in a flock of about 10,000 farmed breeding pheasants at premises at Pilling near Preston.

A number of birds have died and the others are being culled.

Investigation underway

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have been put in place around the infected area to limit the risk of the disease spreading. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

Public Health England has said the risk to public health from the virus is “very low”, while the Food Standards Agency said bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

It comes after Defra confirmed a case of bird flu in a flock of about 6,000 turkeys at a farm in East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, on 16 January.

Prevention zone

Earlier in the month, the strain was also discovered in two small backyard flocks of chickens and ducks on a premises near Settle in North Yorkshire, and Carmarthenshire, south west Wales.

An avian influenza prevention zone was declared on 6 December and will remain in place until 28 February.

It requires owners to keep poultry and captive birds indoors or take steps to separate them from wild birds which are believed to vector the H5N8 strain of the pathogen.

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