Environmental health officials have locked down the area around a poultry farm on the outskirts of Preston due to suspected bird flu.Advertisement
Staveley’s Eggs has a 120,000 colony of cage laying eggs and 50,000 free-range laying hens.
Farmers Weekly are reporting mortality rates of 20 per cent in the free range flock and five per cent in the caged birds.
A 10km temporary control zone has been set up around the premises in the Grimsargh and Longridge area, meaning no poultry or other animals may be moved in this area.
Public Health England say the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency say there is no food safety risk.
All 170,000 birds are due to be culled on Saturday as a precaution.
Chief vet Nigel Gibbens said: “We have taken swift precautionary action to limit the risk of disease spreading. These measures to control the movement of poultry and humanely cull birds at the farm are part of our tried and tested approach to deal with such incidents.
“I would urge bird keepers to be vigilant for any signs of disease, report suspect disease to their nearest APHA office and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.
“The decision to take precautionary action has been taken based on the clinical symptoms displayed by birds at the farm and emerging laboratory findings. The investigation into the suspect case and laboratory tests are ongoing.”