Two more farms hit by bird flu

Date Published: 30/04/2006

A strain of avian flu has been found on two more Norfolk poultry farms – close to the first infected unit.

Defra has said the two free range flocks will now be slaughtered, following the destruction on Thursday of the first.

All three units have been found to be infected by the H7N3 strain of the bird flu, which is thought to be less of a risk to humans, although still highly contagious among poultry.

One worker at the original farm, Witford Lodge, has contracted the virus, displaying conjunctivitis as symptoms.

A restricted zone extending 1km from each of the two newly discovered infected farms has been put in place.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, said officials had not yet identified which of the three farms was the index case.

A Defra spokeswoman confirmed that the latest infected farms both had the same owner and were units of 7,300 and 7,800 chickens.