Bird Flu case confirmed in Lancashire

Photo Neil Cross'Scene of the suspected outbreak of bird flu at a farm in Goosnargh
Photo Neil Cross'Scene of the suspected outbreak of bird flu at a farm in Goosnargh
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An outbreak of bird flu has been officially confirmed at a farm in Goosnargh, Lancashire. .

Staveley’s Eggs at Field Foot Farm on Eaves Green Lane, Goosnargh, near Preston, is now at the centre of a 10km exclusion zone.

The company is a major producer and packager of free range and colony cage eggs.

DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) saidthe strain of flu has been identified as H7N7 but stressed there was little risk to public health. Investigations are continuing into the cause of the outbreak.

A 10 kilometre surveillance zone and an inner 3 kilometre protection zone have been set up around the farm. Restrictions remain in plac, preventing the movement of poultry, captive birds or mammals, except under licence.

The humane culling of up to 170,000 birds at the farm was expected to be completed today.

DEFRA first revealed on Friday that there was a suspected flu outbreak in the area.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said today: “Final tests results have confirmed a case of avian flu at a farm in Lancashire. Restrictions put in place last week will continue and the humane culling of all birds at the site is progressing. These actions are part of our tried and tested approach to dealing with previous outbreaks.”

He added: “Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health from this strain is very low. The Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.

“Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspect disease to their nearest APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) office immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

Staveleys Eggs Limited is a family run business with its HQ at Coppull Moor Farm on Preston Road, Coppull, Chorley. The company was founded in 1970 by Ken and Mary Staveley and says it has grown to become “an influential player in the UK egg industry”, with son David now taking a major role in the running of the business. Noone from Staveley’s was available for comment.