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Court Action for Bird Flu Farmer

by 5m Editor
8 August 2008, at 11:12am

UK - A Suffolk businessman whose farm was at the centre of an avian flu outbreak will appear in court today charged with illegally moving and storing poultry carcasses during the crisis.

East Anglia Daily Times reports that Geoffrey Buchanan, a director of Woodbridge-based Gressingham Foods, will face 26 offences relating to how his company kept and disposed of dead birds without government approval last November.

Trading standards officers brought the case against Mr Buchanan after bird carcasses were allegedly collected from five different farms owned by his company and transported to a skip at Crackthorne Farm, Redgrave.

It is alleged they were stored there during the outbreak without a licence and within 25 metres of thousands of live birds - in breach of strict controls.

Turkeys at a farm in Redgrave near Diss were the first to test positive for the highly contagious disease on 13 November 2007, leading to thousands of birds, including ducks and geese, being slaughtered in an attempt to stop the virus spreading.

Over the next 10 days, the disease moved from the farm owned by Gressingham Foods, to five other sites all operated by their subsidiary company, Redgrave Poultry, leading to further bird culls.

It is claimed the company moved carcasses on 22 November, breaching regulations under the Animal Health Act 1981, and did not keep the required records when moving carcasses.

Mr Buchanan, the operations director of Gressingham Foods, declined to comment on the charges last night.

The business was formerly known as Green Label Foods but changed its name in 2006 to Gressingham Foods after their best selling product, the Gressingham Duck.

5m Editor