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Farmers were forced to remove 300,000 turkeys after bird flu outbreaks


Bronze free-range turkeys
The H5N8 strain of avian influenza was detected among the turkeys. (Getty)

About 30,000 turkeys are killed on a farm in Norfolk after an outbreak of bird flu, the government has said.

Documents published on the website Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that the H5N8 strain of avian influenza was discovered on a farm near the village of Snetterton.

Although the farm was unidentified in the documents, it was confirmed that 30,000 birds had to be killed to stop the outbreak.

A DEFRA spokesman said: “A veterinary examination is underway on this website to identify the probable source of infection and determine how long the disease may have been present on the infected premises.

“The strain of HPAI H5N8 that has been confirmed in several poultry sites in England appears to be closely related to the virus currently circulating in wild birds in captivity in Europe.”

The sign of Defra's headquarters in Smith Square, central London.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Image Date: Monday, February 18, 2013. Photo credit should be: Nick Ansell / PA Wire (Photo by Nick Ansell / PA Images via Getty Images)
A Defra spokesman confirmed the outbreak. (PA)

The spokesman added: “Bird watchers should be vigilant for any signs of illness, report suspected illness immediately and ensure that they maintain good biosecurity on their premises.”

Read more: Bird flu outbreaks sparks for all captive prisoners to be kept indoors

It comes after more than 10,000 birds were killed on a farm in North Yorkshire after a bird flu outbreak in that county last month.

About 500 birds must also be killed on a Kent farm in early November and over 13,000 in Cheshire after the H5N8 outbreak just a few days apart.

Watch: The bird flu outbreak sweeps over Belgium

A recent swan death in the UK is also reportedly being investigated due to concerns that they could be linked to a wave of bird flu from Europe.

Avian influenza can spread to humans, but only in very rare cases, and an H5N8 case has never been detected.

Most other tribes have also never infected humans, experts say, but there are four that have caused some concern in recent years, according to the NHS.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Food Standards Agency also moved to reassure carnivores that bird flu poses a very low risk to humans and that properly cooked poultry products including eggs are safe.

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