Poultry farm on lockdown after bird flu outbreak

A poultry farm in Cheshire is closed after an avian flu outbreak.

A one-kilometer exclusion zone was set up around the Tarporley site to stop the infection from spreading.

There are between 200 and 300 properties in the affected area, although the restrictions do not apply to individuals.

Cheshire West and Chester Council officials will go door-to-door in the restricted area to explain the situation and assess whether the houses are holding poultry CheshireLive.

Public Health England said the public health risk was very small and the case was unrelated to Covid-19.

Workers at the farm, home to 4,500 birds, sounded the alarm when they saw signs of disease in the herd.

Test results identified the disease as a mildly pathogenic case of avian flu, meaning it is less likely to cause death in birds.

The local council is working with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Animal and Phytosanitary Authority (APHA), Public Health England (PHE) and others to respond to the outbreak.

The birds on the farm are humanly killed to limit their spread.

Council Public Health Director Ian Ashworth said: “We are working closely with Public Health England and other partners on this incident.

“The public health risk posed by the virus is very low and avian flu poses a very low risk to food safety.

“We’re working on the ground to support residents, local businesses and premises that may be affected.”

Bird keepers in the restricted area are asked to remain vigilant, maintain good biosecurity, and watch for any signs of disease.

If someone comes across a visibly sick or dead bird in the area, they should avoid contact and contact the DEFRA hotline on 03459 33 55 77.

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