Bird flu outbreak confirmed near Dorchester

  • In Science
  • 2022-12-02 10:30:43Z
  • By BBC
Chickens and turkeys
Chickens and turkeys  

An outbreak of bird flu has been confirmed in west Dorset, the government has said.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the H5N1 strain had been found near Dorchester.

A protection zone of 3km (1.8 miles) is in place south-east of the town covering villages including Whitcombe, Broadmayne and Sutton Poyntz.

Avian flu is spread by close contact with an infected bird, whether it is dead or alive.

The current outbreak of avian flu is the biggest on record in the UK.

About half of the 1.3 million free range turkeys produced for Christmas have died or been culled due to bird flu.

Some 2.3 million birds have died or been culled since October, according to Defra, which is expected to affect egg production if chickens are being culled too.

A national housing order was introduced across England on 7 November making it a legal requirement to house flocks.

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