Birdflu outbreak at Norfolk's Holkham Estate is due to 'domestic flock'

The H5N1 virus was found at a premises near Wells-next-the-Sea Credit: ITV Anglia

An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed at the Holkham Estate in Norfolk.

The H5N1 virus, which is highly contagious, was found on the estate near Wells-next-the-Sea in a small, pet poultry flock. The birds will now have to be killed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

A spokesperson for the Holkham Estate said: "A case of bird flu has been identified at a residential address on the Holkham estate by a very small, domesticated flock of housed foul. A 3km temporary control zone is now in place and the situation is being monitored very carefully."

It is the third confirmed recent outbreak in the east of England, following two in Essex this month.

On Sunday, the virus was found at at a premises near North Fambridge in Maldon following an outbreak of H5N1 at animal sanctuary in Kirby Cross earlier in the month. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said further tests were being carried out to determine the pathogenicity of the Norfolk case.According to Defra, the virus is "primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public's health is very low".

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been in place across the country since November 3, and outbreaks have been recorded in Cumbria, Warwickshire, Cheshire and North Yorkshire.

The order means bird keepers need to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks.