Bird flu in Suffolk

Bird flu in Suffolk – latest position (Sunday Feb 4th 2007)
The Suffolk outbreak of avian flu is H5N1. It has been identified as the highly pathogenic Asian strain, similar to the virus found in Hungary in January this year.
The details were confirmed by Defra late on Saturday (Feb 3rd). The infection focus is a turkey farm at Holton (Bernard Matthews), 27km SW of Lowestoft. Culling is now under way to kill in total some 160,000 turkeys there after about 2500 died from the disease. (Only one shed affected out of 22 on site.)

UPDATE…Joanna Lumley – as a patron of Compassion in World Farming – writes in The Independent
Feb 8th 2007
…The scientific finger is beginning to point to the proliferation and intensity of poultry factory farms as a major factor in the spread of H5N1 and other types of avian flu. The experts now tell us what we might have guessed, that birds in these systems are likely to have weaker immune systems. Couple this with the mega opportunity provided by thousands of birds in one enclosed shed, their bodies waiting to act as hosts for the virus, allowing it to replicate and mutate at an amazing rate, and there’s your recipe for a disease disaster.
We know intensive poultry farming has proliferated in south-east Asia and China. And it is in this region that H5NI has taken hold. But not in Laos, which provides an interesting case history. In Laos, poultry farming is still mainly backyard and free range. Only 13 per cent of the industry is intensive. Yet 93 per cent of the H5N1 outbreaks in Laos have been in these intensive farms…

Full article at –

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