The Government is developing its investigation into the cause of the outbreak of avian influenza in the Suffolk poultry farm, following preliminary scientific tests showing the viruses in Suffolk and recent outbreaks in Hungary may well be identical. Imported turkey meat from Hungary to a processing plant next to the farm in Suffolk is being considered as a possible route of infection.
Deputy Chief Vet Fred Landeg said 'the virus has probably come directly from Hungary to the UK and not via migratory birds,' he said. 'With other evidence it is looking like that [turkey imports] is the most probable route at the moment.'
The Government has confirmed that a case of avian influenza at a turkey farm in Suffolk was caused by the H5N1 virus. It is still unclear how the turkeys became infected with the virus. The RSPB is continuing to provide assistance and help to Defra as the situation develops and will be increasing its surveillance at nearby reserves in response. The risk to human health remains extremely low and there are currently no cases in wild birds.
For more information, please see http://www.defra.gov.uk/