Caistor’s Cherry Valley Farms has been identified as the company behind the outbreak of bird flu in East Yorkshire.
The company has also confirmed that its Lincolnshire operations has received a consignment of 14,000-15,000 at Usselby, which DEFRA is currently testing for signs of the disease.
The outbreak has already led to the destruction of all the 6,000 white Peking ducks at the Cherry Valley breeding farm in Nafferton and the site been placed under quarantine.
“I can confirm that the strain of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) found on a Cherry Valley operated duck farm in Yorkshire is of the H5N8 strain. Understanding the strain is an important step forward in the process and we are keen to find out how this happened in due course,” said Caistor-based Cherry Valley UK Operations managing director John Vernam.
“We have followed all the necessary procedures which are robust and well established. For now, the priority is observing the two exclusion zones around the farm and the sanitary measures in place.
“There is complete traceability in the supply chain and any eggs that have left the site will be tested and the necessary procedures will be undertaken. We are working closely with Defra and other agencies and are confident that the controls in place are proportionate to the risks involved,” he said in his statement.
Earlier today, it was also revealed that a shipment of eggs from the East Yorkshire plant was sent to Usselby two weeks ago.
A Cherry Valley spokeswoman told the Rasen Mail that DEFRA will test all the eggs that have left the farm and if necessary, destroy them.
However, DEFRA has not yet confirmed whether any of the eggs at Usselby are infected.
‘As the World Health Organisation, the Minister, the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and others have made clear, there is absolutely no risk to humans and people should continue to eat all forms of poultry.
‘Any eggs that are destroyed are done so to protect the integrity of the supply chain and ensure that the disease does not affect more birds,” she added.
The National Farmers Union has compiled a general briefing on its website on the current outbreak of Avian Influenza in Yorkshire.
It includes details on how to recognise bird flu symptoms and what poultry producers, of all sizes and types, should be looking for and doing, now.
NFU’s advice to poultry keepers is to increase biosecurity and regularly check all birds for signs of illness. They should inform their local vet if they are concerned about the health of their flock.
Defra also has information on https://www.gov.uk/avian-influenza-bird-flu
The advice on the risk to human health, issued by Public Health England is that the risk is “extremely low”.
You can read this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-outbreak-in-yorkshire-risk-to-public-health-extremely-low