Business

Norfolk is in the midst of its “worst-ever” bird flu outbreak

Norfolk is in the midst of its “worst-ever” bird flu outbreak.

Bird flu has once again become a problem across Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex. 

As of January 2023, there have been over 150 confirmed virus cases in the UK.

Despite being present throughout the country, the outbreak has hit Norfolk the hardest and has continued to spread to farms across East Anglia.

On October 12th 2022, an Avian Influenza Protection Zone was introduced to contain the virus and prevent its spread.

Farmers are encouraged to recognise the signs of the virus in their birds so that necessary action can be taken. These symptoms include unresponsiveness, head and body shaking, and breathing difficulties.

To minimise the impact of bird flu, poultry farmers have been advised to disinfect all clothing, footwear and equipment that comes into contact with the birds. They should also reduce the movement of people and vehicles to and from poultry housing, to decrease the risk of contamination.

All captive birds are now legally required to be kept indoors, which causes issues for farmers who pride themselves on free-range products. 

I spoke to local farmer Emma from Nature Farm in Thorpe Marriott, north Norfolk, to find out more.

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