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Second bird flu case in backyard flock in Lancashire

Staff Writer |
H5N8 bird flu has hit a second flock of chickens near Thornton in Lancashire.

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The second case of the disease, which is very serious in susceptible bird species, but is not thought to represent a threat to humans, was detected on Saturday, just two days after another small flock of 30 birds was affected, also in the Wyre region of Lancashire.

Defra officials said a 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the disease spread.

There were nine birds in the backyard flock hit by H5N8 bird flu on Saturday, and officials said some birds had died of the disease, whilst others were humanely culled. Officials said a full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.

The two outbreaks were confirmed just a week after Defra announced plans to lift the last remaining bird flu control measures - including the ban on poultry gatherings - on 15th May, on the advice of the environment department’s Chief Vet.

Asked what these outbreaks will mean for its control measures, a Defra spokesperson reiterated that investigations are ongoing into the source of the two bird flu cases, and said, “We keep all disease control measures under review based on the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice.”

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