The Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed a case of avian flu in a chicken breeding farm in Hampshire. Tests have confirmed the case as a low severity H7 strain of the disease, a much less severe form than the H5N8 strain found at a Yorkshire duck farm in November; there are no links between the two cases. Initial laboratory results indicate that this is likely to be the H7N7 subtype.
The advice from Public Health England is that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.
To ensure that the disease does not spread, we have taken immediate and robust action. A 1 km poultry movement restriction zone is in place around the premises and the chickens on the premises are to be culled as part of our well established procedures for responding to avian flu.
While we are never complacent about such an important issue, we have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating outbreaks of avian flu in the UK. We are working closely with operational partners, devolved administration colleagues and the industry to deal effectively with this outbreak.