The farm in Frithville currently subjected to protection and surveilance orders after an outbreak of avian flu is one of Bernard Matthews ‘smaller farms’ - it has been revealed.
Frithville Farm, on Hale Lane, was set to see more than 19,500 of its birds culled after the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer yesterday (Thursday) confirmed the avian flu.
A spokesman for one of the leading names in the poultry business told The Standard: “Bernard Matthews can confirm that birds at one of the company’s smaller farms showed signs of ill health on Wednesday, January 25.
“The business reported this to DEFRA immediately and they have detected the presence of the same strain of avian influenza virus that has been prevalent across Europe and the UK in the last six weeks, including outbreaks in Lincolnshire, Wales and Dorset.
“We are working with the appropriate organisations to manage the incident as safely and efficiently as possible.” Said a spokesperson for Bernard Matthews.”
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 and investigate the source of the infection. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says a number have died and the remaining live birds at the premises will be humanely culled.
A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection.
It has been confirmed as H5N8 avian flu. Public Health England advise 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.
DEFRA has issued guidance and reassurance for bird owners in the area and nationwide. Read more here.