British poultry slaughtered to stop bird flu

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Thousands of free range turkeys, ducks and geese are being slaughtered at a farm in eastern England in an effort to stop an outbreak of bird flu.

A British veterinary officer says some of the birds are infected with H5N1, the same viral strain that has killed scores of people around the world.

The return of the virus comes at a bad time for British farmers, who are already reeling after livestock herds were hit by foot-and-mouth and bluetongue earlier this year.

The farm in Suffolk as not been identified, but the virus is closely related to strains found in the Czech Republic and Germany earlier this year.

A two-mile protection zone and a six-mile surveillance zone have been set up around the farm.

Bird flu is difficult for humans to catch, but experts worry it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, possibly sparking a flu pandemic.

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