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Call to vaccinate all flocks as vets race to contain bird flu outbreak

by 5m Editor
5 February 2007, at 8:41am

EU - Vaccination of all poultry flocks in Europe against avian flu should be considered in the wake of the outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus on a turkey farm in Suffolk, a senior European public health expert said yesterday.

As the operation to gas almost 160,000 birds on the Bernard Matthews farm in Holton continued, Professor Koos Van der Velden, the chairman of the European Influenza Surveillance Scheme, in Utrecht, Netherlands, said the outbreak would increase the pressure on European governments to step up counter-measures.

The UK is expected to be at the top of the agenda at tomorrow's routine meeting of the EU's veterinary experts in Brussels. Thirteen EU countries have been hit by avian flu since the beginning of last year and the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health - senior government vets from 27 countries - already require member states to ringfence outbreak sites and impose strict controls on the movement of poultry - as has been done in Suffolk.

Source: The Independant

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5m Editor