FOLLOWING advice from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust would like to inform its members that avian influenza has been found in a small backyard flock of chickens at a farm near Thornton, Wyre, Lancashire.
A 3 km Protection Zone and a 10 km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.
The flock is estimated to contain about 30 birds.
A number have died and the remaining live birds at the premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.
Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
DEFRA has previously come together with countryside and shooting organisations to issue important information about bird ‘flu to everyone involved with gamebirds.
Notes to editors
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.
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