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Outbreak of avian influenza in East Yorkshire

17 November 2014

The Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that highly pathogenic avian influenza is present in England. Defra has issued a Declaration of a Protection Zone and a Surveillance Zone following the outbreak.

A 3 kilometre protection zone and 10 kilometre surveillance zone has been set up around the infected farm (believed to be a duck breeding farm according to press reports) which is located near Driffield in East Yorkshire.

The exact strain has not been confirmed but the H5N1 form has been ruled out by Defra officials.

On Sunday Dutch authorities stated that they had found a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the central Netherlands.

The strain, H5N8, has never been detected in humans. The strain was first reported in Europe, on a German farm, in early November.

The European Commission said it expected to adopt urgent interim protective measures on Monday to contain the outbreak, including a ban on selling poultry products from the affected areas to EU and third countries.

The H5N8 strain of bird flu was reported in Germany on Nov. 4 on a farm in the north eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern after it caused widespread destruction in Asia.

The Commission's decision to ban the selling of poultry products from the affected areas identified by the Dutch authorities to other countries is a standard procedure in the case of bird flu outbreaks, it said.

In September, Russia reported the first cases of H5N1, another dangerous strain, in nearly two years.

AIC will update members of any significant developments.

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