A fresh case of bird flu has been discovered at a farm in Suffolk. Around 5,000 turkeys, geese and ducks have already been slaughtered and an exclusion zone set up around the affected area.
The outbreak has caused concern in the farming industry which has recently been hit hard by cases of foot-and-moth and blue tongue disease. Here is some of the reaction from farmers, scientists and others.
PETER KENDALL, NFU PRESIDENT
We fully support the measures Defra have put in place in the protection and surveillance zones and we will be working with them to make sure producers within the zones understand the implications of the restrictions.
But it is important to remember Avian Influenza is a disease of birds. There is no reason for public concern and the Food Standards Agency says there are no risks from eating poultry meat and eggs provided they are cooked properly as, of course, all food should be.
NICK BLAYNEY, PRESIDENT OF THE BRITISH VETERINARY ASSOCIATION
The news that AI has been confirmed in turkeys on a premises near Diss while clearly of concern, does at least underline the vital importance of surveillance.
While we await the outcome of further tests designed to identify the strain of H5 virus we would urge, particularly since this is the first case of AI in the UK since last June, the need for vigilance.
It is important, not least for domestic flock owners in the vicinity, that they protect their birds by following basic bio security precautions.
PROF IAN JONES, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, SCHOOL OF ANIMAL AND MICROBIAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF READING
Another outbreak was to be expected at some time but the source will be interesting and may be suggested when the sequence is confirmed.
It is a bit early for migratory birds but this is an option assuming the turkeys were outside. It is obviously regrettable ahead of Christmas but there is no reason why it should not be contained at this stage.
DR JIM ROBERTSON, NATIONAL BIOLOGICAL STANDARDS BOARD
It must be very depressing for those involved to be hit by yet another veterinary infectious disease outbreak.
However, the UK authorities must now have good experience in tackling this situation and use that experience for the effective containment of infection, rapid analysis of the virus, analysis of the origin of the infection and ultimately the control and eradication of the outbreak.
ANDRE FARRAR, ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS
Last time people went on a mad whirl of speculation on how wild birds had
moved the virus and it turned out not to be the case. How it got into this farm needs to be a matter of urgent scrutiny
PETER AINSWORTH MP, CONSERVATIVE ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN
This is yet another nightmare for the farming community and we can only hope that this is an isolated case. Farmers have endured so much this year, the last thing they need is an outbreak of bird flu in the run-up to Christmas.
CHRIS HUHNE MP, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN
Another outbreak of bird flu after the Bernard Matthews incident makes it a hat-trick of horror stories for British farming this year: foot and mouth, bluetongue and now bird flu again. Ministers must pull out all the stops to contain this outbreak and identify its source.