Avian Flu Update

Published: 8 Dec 2016

In the wake of the new Avian Flu scare leading upto Christmas, CSC will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.

Due to the new pathogenic strain of Avian Flu, H5N8 being found in dead wild birds and some farm animals across Europe, the government's chief vet, Nigel Gibbens, has declared a "prevention zone" for England. This precautionary order requires commercial and individual bird keepers to keep their birds inside for 30 days or take steps to separate them from wild birds. To date there have so far been no confirmed cases of the new bird flu strain in the UK.

Is your food safe?

The Food Standards Agency said bird flu "does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers". Public Health England (PHE) said the threat to humans from the bird flu strain remained very low.

A spokeswoman added ,'The risk of getting bird flu through the food chain is very low. Some strains of avian influenza can pass to humans, but this is very rare. It usually requires close contact between the human and infected live birds. Properly cooked chicken, turkey and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat."

Will turkey supplies be affected?

Mark Gorton, director of a company that produces free-range turkeys and chickens in Norfolk, said most turkeys for Christmas had already been slaughtered and frozen. "They're safely packed and in the cold stores, ready for Christmas dinners," he said.