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The government has announced an outbreak of bird flu on a chicken farm in Dereham, Norfolk.
Current information from Defra suggests that this is an H7 virus, and that it is likely to be a low pathogenicity form of the disease. If so, it is a different disease to the H5N1 virus found in the dead whooper swan at Cellardyke. Low pathogenicity would mean that it will not be as virulent as a high pathogenicity virus. There have been no reports of the disease affecting any wild bird and the source of the infection is apparently unknown.
Confirmation of the strain type is expected within the next 24 hours.
A number of chickens have died, and the affected flock is to be slaughtered, in accordance with the government’s strategy for the control of a notifiable disease in poultry. Strict biosecurity measures have been implemented on the farm and movement restrictions will be imposed in the immediate vicinity of the incident, dependent on further test results to type the virus.