By Laura Kemp •
Published: 09 Dec 2021 • 16:09
The UK is experiencing the largest ever bird flu outbreak in cases across the country as half a million birds are culled to stop the avian flu.
A chief vet in the UK is “very concerned” about the scale of the outbreak as dozens of highly pathogenic cases have been recorded across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland despite the introduction of UK-wide prevention measures in November.
The flu remains a low risk to humans but has ripped through farms, with warnings that it could jump across if people come into close contact with birds that are infected.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemisss told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there was a “phenomenal level” of the virus and that it had “huge human, animal and trade implications”.
She said she was “very concerned” about bird flu, and the fact that there are 40 infected premises is “a really high number for the time of year”.
Around 500,000 birds have had to be culled.
“I know that sounds a huge number, and of course for those keepers affected it’s really devastating.”
“But in terms of food supply impact it’s actually relatively a very small number in terms of egg supply, meat, chicken and so on.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Each year the UK faces a seasonal risk in incursion of avian influenza associated with migratory wild birds.”
“While we have that each year, I have to say this year we are now seeing the largest-ever outbreak in the UK.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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