In a follow-up to a story yesterday concerning the avian influenza (AI) outbreak in Yorkshire, England, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Animal and Plant Health Agency (DEFRA) has confirmed the identity of the strain as H5N8 avian influenza.


The animal health laboratory at Weybridge confirmed the AI strain.

Officials say the strain is a very low risk to human health and no risk to the food chain.

DEFRA announced today that the culling of 6,000 ducks is underway on the affected farm in east Yorkshire. The cull is to prevent the spread of potential infection, and is being carried out in a safe and humane manner by fully trained APHA staff.

The response to this outbreak follows tried and tested procedures for dealing with avian flu outbreaks and we expect the cull to be completed later today.

England is the third European country to experience an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza strain in the past two week–earlier outbreaks were reported in Germany and the Netherlands.

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