Milliband backs response to bird flu outbreak


Environment secretary David Milliband has backed the response of the agencies to the outbreak of the bird flu virus in Suffolk.
Miliband told MPs the response to the outbreak of the H5N1 strain at the Bernard Matthews in Holton site had been "rapid, well co-ordinated and appropriate".
Giving a statement to the commons, he said that the cause of the outbreak remained unknown. He also reiterated the advice of many Government departments that there was no risk to humans eating properly cooked and prepared poultry - including turkey and eggs.
The cull of birds at the Bernard Matthews site is now complete and the carcasses are being sent for incineration
Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council's trading standard sofficers have been in the Holton area advising poultry keepers within the protected zones following the outbreak of H5N1 avian flu.
Trading Standards are working with the State Veterinary Service, who are enforcing a Protection Zone of three kilometres radius and a Surveillance Zone of 10 kilometres around the premises where movement restrictions will be imposed and poultry must be isolated from wild birds.
A wider Restricted Zone has also (in consultation with ornithologists) been imposed, covering east Suffolk and South East Norfolk bounded to the west and the north by the A140 and A47 respectively, an area of approximately 2090sqkm. 

These strict measures require the isolation of poultry from wild birds, and requires movements to be licensed. As further information becomes available and in consultation with ornithological experts the restrictions in place may be adjusted.
The national general licence on bird gatherings has been revoked, and bird shows and pigeon racing will no longer be permitted.

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