Cull Continues at Turkey Farm

The cull of 160,000 turkeys is to be completed today after avian influenza (AI) was confirmed at a Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk over the weekend.

Defra has imposed a 3km protection zone around Holton farm near Lowestoft and a 10km surveilance zone, which means poultry must be kept indoors and not moved. A wider restriction zone covers east Suffolk and south-east Norfolk and requires the isolation of poultry from wild birds and movements of poultry only under license.

A local vet was called to the farm last Tuesday after birds started to fall ill. By Thursday over 800 turkeys had died and Defra was informed. By Saturday the highly pathonogenic H5N1 strain of AI had been confirmed and gas chambers were brought in to destroy all the birds on the farm.

Keepers of birds in the area are encouraged to be vigilant and exercise good bio-security, but Defra has emphasised the risk to the general public is virtually nil and consumers of poultry are not at risk.