Bird flu in Lancashire: 170,000 animals to be culled after suspected outbreak

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has ordered 170,000 birds to be culled after finding signs of avian flu

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A suspected case of bird flu at a poultry farm in Lancaster has been detected by food safety authorities.

Tests done by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) indicate an outbreak of avian influenza.

170,000 birds on the farm in Goosnargh, Preston are due to be culled and animal movements within a 6-mile “control zone” have been restricted.

The decision to cull the birds was "based on the clinical symptoms and emerging laboratory findings," according to Defra.

The risk to public health is very low, Defra have said and there is “no food safety risk” for consumers according to the Food Standards Agency.

Farmers in the region have been advised to be vigilant for any signs and the disease and the annual Goosnargh and Longridge agricultural show has been affected.

A spokesperson for Defra said: "We have a strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK."

Outbreaks of bird flu in Yorkshire in 2014 and in Hampshire in February were both quickly contained.

No humans have been affected by bird flu in the UK, according to the NHS.