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Avian Flu

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Following the avian flu outbreak in Suffolk, whether they will increase the number of tests carried out on wild fowl in Norfolk and Suffolk; and [HL1937]

Whether wild bird droppings in East Anglia have been tested over the past 12 months to ascertain whether there could be a link with a possible outbreak of H5N1; and, if not, whether such research will be undertaken. [HL1939]

Within the area around the infected premises in Suffolk there will be enhanced levels of surveillance. Defra, along with our delivery partners, will be patrolling the sites surrounding the infected premises.

Elsewhere, we will continue to pursue our wild bird surveillance programme which is targeted to those areas likely to be at greatest risk. We are aware of 30 key waterbird locations in Suffolk—estuaries, marshes and so on. Twelve of these locations are within 20 kilometres of the infected premises, of which 10 are patrolled regularly as part of the programme. Six of those sites have been patrolled over 100 times since the patrol programme began in early November 2006.

Wild bird droppings are not routinely tested and there are no plans to do so.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many visits by Bernard Mathews's employees have been made to (a) the company in Hungary, affected by an earlier outbreak of H5N1, or (b) to England from that company in Hungary in the past six weeks. [HL1962]

A full epidemiological investigation into the source of the recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Suffolk is ongoing. I will arrange for a copy of the findings to be placed in the Libraries of the House in due course.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether any lorries from the Hungarian farm which was infected with avian flu two weeks ago have entered the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk; and [HL1938]

Whether the shed in which avian flu broke out on the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk was of a similar design to the other 20 sheds on the farm; and, if so, whether the infection could have been brought in through the access of wildlife; and [HL1940]

Whether full biosecurity procedures were in place and were followed prior to the recent avian flu outbreak at the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk. [HL1941]

A full epidemiological investigation into the source of the recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Suffolk is ongoing. I will arrange for a copy of the findings to be placed in the Libraries of the House in due course.