Second outbreak of bird flu confirmed

Second bird flu outbreak
Second bird flu outbreak
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A second case of bird flu has been confirmed in Lancashire.

Scientists have identified the same H5N8 strain of avian influenza in another flock of breeding pheasants near to the farm where 15,000 birds were culled earlier this week.

The latest location is said by Defra to have “business links” with Hy-Fly Game Hatcheries in Pilling Lane, Preesall where the outbreak was first confirmed on Tuesday night.

The second farm is in Smallwood Hey Road, Pilling. A convoy of Defra vehicles with staff in white overalls arrived at the premises this afternoon to begin the job of humanely disposing of the birds.

A neighbour said: “It’s chaos down this road with everyone descending on the place. It’s only a narrow road and there are a lot of vehicles and staff here.”

A three-kilometre Protection Zone has been set up limiting the movement of all birds and animals, with a 10-kilometre Surveillance Zone also put in place to monitor the outbreak.

The new case, which is said to involve a flock of around 1,000 breeding pheasants, was confirmed last night, just three days after the initial outbreak at Hy-Fly.

Defra said: “This case was proactively identified as part of a routine investigation of premises traced as a result of confirmation of the disease in Lancashire earlier this week.

“There is a business link between the two premises.

“The flock is estimated to contain approximately 1,000 birds. A number have died and laboratory results of samples taken were positive for H5N8.

“The remaining birds at the premises are being humanely culled.

“A full investigation is underway to determine the source of the infection and related premises have been placed under restrictions which will remain in place until all investigations are complete.”