Birds to be culled amid three more outbreaks of bird flu in Norfolk and Suffolk

  • Hannah Pettifer reports on the dead swans discovered in the River Stour in Suffolk

Thousands of birds are being culled after three more cases of bird flu were confirmed in East Anglia.

DEFRA says that avian influenza has now been found in poultry at a second premises near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and two different premises near Attleborough in Norfolk.

A 3km protection zone and 10km surveillance zone have now been put in place around each of the outbreaks.

Defra has confirmed it's carrying out tests to determine the cause of death of the swans around Brundon Mill. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It comes after a number of swans were also found dead in the River Stour at Brundon mill near Sudbury in Suffolk.

Ian Hepburn walks his dog around Sudbury water meadows every week and found six dead swans on his latest walk.

"The last thing you expect to see is carcasses of these wonderful creatures lying here and you wonder where it's going to end," he told ITV News Anglia.

Ian Hepburn spotted the dead swans on a walk with his dog around the mill. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I rang the rangers and they told me they retrieved other birds earlier in the week and you wonder where it's going to end, is this hideous disease going to wipe out the entire population?"

Defra has confirmed it is carrying out tests to determine the cause of death but bird flu is suspected.

A regional protection zone is in place across the whole of Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex as the UK battles the worst bird flu outbreak it has ever seen.

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

The Food Standards Agency said that the outbreaks posed a "very low food safety risk", as long as poultry and poultry products were cooked properly.

The public are being asked to call the Defra helpline on 03459 335577 if they find any of the following:

  • one or more dead birds of prey or owl

  • three or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks) 

  • five or more dead birds of any species

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