LONDON (AFP) – A duck breeding farm in northern England was closed off on Monday after an outbreak of bird flu, although officials said the risk to public health was “very low”.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it might be linked to outbreaks in the Netherlands and Germany, but said it had yet to identify the strain, although the deadly H5N1 had been ruled out.
An estimated 6,000 ducks on the farm will be culled and a 10-kilometre (six-mile) restriction zone has been put around the site near Driffield in Yorkshire.
“We have confirmed a case of avian flu on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire. The public health risk is very low and there is no risk to the food chain,” a Defra statement said.
Any movement of poultry or products in or out of the protection zone is prohibited.
“Obviously we are asking farmers to be doubly vigilant in their biosecurity and look for any potential signs of disease in their flock,” a spokesman added.
The government’s chief veterinary officer, Nigel Gibbens, said officials were looking at any possible links to outbreaks of bird flu in the Netherlands and Germany.