Birds to be culled in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex after fresh bird flu outbreaks

A case of bird flu has been detected at a poultry farm in Norfolk, the Animal and Plant health Agency has said.
Credit: PA
New bird flu cases have been confirmed across the East of England, but Defra said the risk to poultry remains low. Credit: PA

Birds are being culled across the East of England as a fresh wave of bird flu hits poultry.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed cases of bird flu had been found in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex since Saturday.

But Defra said the risk to poultry has been reduced to low and there remains "very low" risk to humans.

The highly pathogenic avian infleunza H5N1 was confirmed in chickens near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Saturday.

It was then confirmed at a premises near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, before more cases were discovered near Honington, Suffolk, and in Attleborough, Norfolk, on Sunday and Monday.

In each outbreak, Defra said a 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone were put in place around the premises.

Defra said 3km protection zones and 10km surveillance zones had been set up in each of the outbreak areas. Credit: Defra

The affected birds on the infected premises will be humanely culled following the cases.

Defra said that while there are currently 125 cases of avian influenza in England, the risk to poultry in Great Britain has been reduced to low.

The UK Health Security Agency said the risk to the general public's health is "very low", as it is primarily a disease that affects birds.

The Food Standards Agency added that the outbreaks pose a "very low food safety risk", as long as poultry and poultry products are cooked properly.

The bird flu outbreak protection and surveillance zones shown on a map of Essex. Credit: Defra

The latest cases in the East of England bring the region's total to six outbreaks in September, after cases were also confirmed in Holt in Norfolk and Maldon in Essex.

In Maldon, officials said they would be visiting around 1,200 homes and businesses within 3km of the outbreak.

It was Essex's third outbreak in the past year.

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