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UK Officials Cull 2,700 Birds after Newcastle Disease Outbreak

by 5m Editor
19 July 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Officials said on Tuesday it has culled nearly a third of 9,000 pheasants earmarked for slaughter following an outbreak of a bird virus suspected of being imported from France.

UK Officials Cull 2,700 Birds after Newcastle Disease Outbreak - UK - Officials said on Tuesday it has culled nearly a third of 9,000 pheasants earmarked for slaughter following an outbreak of a bird virus suspected of being imported from France.

Officials confirmed the discovery of Newcastle disease among pheasants at a game farm near Reigate in Surrey on Friday.

Chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds told reporters that around 2,700 pheasants, which were being reared for shooting, have now been slaughtered and incinerated.

Reynolds also said during a telephone briefing that French authorities were investigating the suspected source of infection and had plans to carry out their own cull of birds on a farm in the Loire Atlantique area in the western part of the country.

"The farm concerned in France is a large game bird farm with about 20,000 pheasants and 35,000 partridges and the source of the infection for this farm has yet to be identified," Reynolds said.

A joint British-French statement on the subject is expected to be issued later on Tuesday, Reynolds added.

British officials said France reported the incident to the EU and to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Tuesday.

Cooperation between the two countries "has quickly resulted in indemnification of a link between two premises in our two countries", the chief vet said.

The Health Protection Agency told officials last week that the disease, which spreads through contact with faeces from infected birds and contaminated clothing or animal feed, does not pose a significant threat to human health.

In poultry, it causes paralysis, diarrhoea and can be fatal.

Exports of live poultry, poultry meat and eggs from Britain to countries outside the EU were suspended on Friday after the disease was confirmed.

Source: Reuters - 19th July 2005

5m Editor