Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Good News for Turkey Day

H5N1 confirmed at second U.K. site

By Alicia Karapetian on 11/20/2007 for Meatingplace.com

British officials on Monday announced that testing confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in turkeys at a second site in the United Kingdom.

The outbreak occurred at a farm deemed a "dangerous contact" premise, which was placed under restriction following the first outbreak last week. (See British AI outbreak highly pathogenic strain: official on Meatingplace.com, Nov. 14, 2007.)

Officials on Saturday completed the culling of birds on the first infected farm and those placed under restriction.

An almost 2-mile protection zone has been established around the second site, and the existing surveillance zone has been extended.




British AI outbreak highly pathogenic strain: official
By Alicia Karapetian on 11/14/2007 for Meatingplace.com


British government officials on Tuesday announced that confirmatory tests showed an avian influenza outbreak on a turkey farm in eastern England was the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain.

In response, the some 5,000 turkeys, 1,000 ducks and 400 geese on the farm will be culled, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn told British Parliament in prepared remarks Tuesday.

"The health and safety of those involved in the operations are the priority, and a strict approach is being taken," she said. "All workers on the premises already potentially exposed to infection have been given Tamiflu."

The government also has restricted poultry movement, instituting an almost 2-mile protection zone and an approximately 6-mile-wide surveillance area.

Benn's department was informed of a large number of turkey deaths at the farm Sunday. Preliminary tests conducted Monday showed the presence of the H5 strain, and further testing, which revealed the strain was H5N1, was completed Tuesday.

The United Kingdom last faced an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in February when 159,000 turkeys were culled at a Bernard Matthews farm.

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