About 35,000 Gressingham ducks to be killed after H5N1 bird flu outbreak at Suffolk farm

The virus is very dangerous for poultry. Credit: PA Images

Around 35,000 ducks will be culled after a bird flu outbreak in Suffolk.

A farm near Redgrave was found to have the HN51 strain of disease, which is highly infectious to many birds.

Authorities have now created a 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone around the farm. Any birds in the protection zone must be kept inside.

The news comes just days after an outbreak near Elmswell, also in Suffolk.

A spokesperson for Gressingham Duck confirmed the outbreak at a farm run by its supplier Green Label.

He said: "Over the weekend there was a confirmed outbreak of avian influenza in a local back yard flock which put many of our facilities inside control zones.

"Unfortunately a Green Label duck farm was confirmed as having highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 [on Tuesday night]."

The company added: "Since the weekend the farm has taken every precaution and there has been no movement of birds or other material off the premises. The farm is now under APHA [Animal and Plant Health Agency] control."

All other birds on the premises will now be "humanely culled" according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The virus is often passed on by wild birds that migrate from Europe during winter and can be very dangerous for poultry.

Although a man from South West England was infected in January with the virus, it is extremely rare and public health officials have repeatedly stressed that risk to humans is low.