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Pig farmers urged to be vigilant after suspected Suffolk bird flu outbreak

14th Feb 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Pig farmers have again been urged to be vigilant after bird flu restrictions were put in place around a premises containing an 23,000 birds in mid-Suffolk.

poultryAn initial 10km Temporary Control Zone was put in place around the premises near Redgrave, following investigation into a suspected case of the H5N8 strain of bird flu, which has affected farms and wild birds across the country over the winter.

A number of the cases, including this latest one, if confirmed, have been in key pig producing parts of the country and pig farmers have been warned they could be drawn into costly restrictions, where pigs and poultry co-exist in close proximity.

Defra has advised that pigs sharing premises where avian flu has been detected in poultry could be culled if they are found to be carrying the disease.

Pig farmers could also be required to undertake costly cleansing and disinfecting procedures, if avian flu is found on premises where both pigs and poultry are present.

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NPA chief executive Zoe Davies reiterated the need for pig farmers to be aware of the risk and to take pre-emptive action to reduce it.

She said: "I would like to reiterate our advice to pig producers to remove any poultry around a pig unit."

Suffolk restrictions

The 10km Temporary Control Zone consists of a 3km Zone A and 10km Zone B.

The controls in these zones are equivalent to those which would apply in the 3km Protection Zone and the 10km Surveillance Zone around a confirmed case.

Defra published full details of the controls in place, while you can check its interactive map to see if you are affected by restrictions around any premises.

Previous confirmed cases over the winter include three linked premises on a commercial game farm in Lancashire, three separate poultry farms in Lincolnshire and backyard flocks in North Yorkshire and Carmarthenshire.

A number of pig farms have been caught up in restrictions put in place around these premises.