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Bird flu outbreak at Northumberland farm

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu at a farm near Haltwhistle. Credit: PA

There has been an outbreak of bird flu at a farm in Northumberland.

The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed H5N8 avian flu in a small flock of chickens at a farm near Haltwhistle.

A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

The flock contains about 35 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.

NFU Scotland calls reintroduction of lynx 'brazen' and 'misjudged'

NFU Scotland's Vice President, Rob Livesey, has called Lynx Trust UK's application to reintroduce lynx to the UK "brazen" and "misjudged".

It follows the announcement thatthe conservationists' preferred site for a trial reintroduction to take place is Kielder Forest, spanning Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.

In a scathing statement, the Borders livestock farmer and NFU Scotland Vice President referred to the announcement as "brazen and presumptuous":

This most recent statement from the Lynx UK Trust is the latest in a line of brazen and presumptuous announcements from this organisation.

The process for securing permission for the trial release of lynx is long and complex and any application would be subject to considerable analysis and debate.

NFU Scotland is confident that any application by the Lynx UK Trust will receive robust scrutiny, and that the Trust’s expectation of a ‘speedy and positive’ response from Scottish Natural Heritage is misplaced and misjudged.

Farmers and crofters should be confident that NFU Scotland, as a member of the National Species Reintroduction Forum, will represent their best interests and ensure this application is thoroughly scrutinised. If the interests of farming and crofting could be put at risk, NFU Scotland will take all necessary steps to stop this happening.

– Rob Livesey, NFU Scotland Vice President

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Carlisle auction mart makes Alpaca history

Alpacas Credit: ITV News Border

Carlisle has hosted the largest auction of organic Alpacas in the country.

58 of a Northumbrian herd of 82 have been sold, many of them pregnant.

The Peruvian animals have become increasingly popular, with around 30,000 of them in the UK now.

They were sold by Judith Russell, a farmer in Fourstones, near Hexham in Northumberland.

Alpacas waiting to be auctioned Credit: ITV News Border
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