Chickens culled as bird flu found at Lancashire farm

chickens Image copyright PA
Image caption The Food Standards Agency said the disease was not a risk to food safety

About 30 birds are to be culled after avian flu was found at a poultry farm, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The H5N8 strain was confirmed in a small backyard flock of chickens at the farm near Thornton, Lancashire by Defra's chief veterinary officer.

Restrictions have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

The Food Standards Agency said the disease was not a risk to food safety.

Public Health England said the risk to public health from the virus was very low.

A spokesman for Defra said a number of the birds had died and the remaining live birds were being humanely culled.

In January, there were a number of other outbreaks of the virus, including at farms in Wyre in Lancashire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and Carmarthenshire.

What is bird flu?

  • There are two types of bird flu, the most serious of which - known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) - is often fatal in birds
  • A less serious version - low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) - can cause mild breathing problems but affected birds do not always show clear signs of infection
  • The NHS website says no humans have been infected with bird flu in the UK

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