A suspected case of bird flu in a poultry flock of approximately 23,000 birds has been announced near Redgrave, in the district of mid-Suffolk, by the UK’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer.

A number of the flock has died and it has been decided to humanely cull the remaining birds, according to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

An initial 10km Temporary Control Zone was announced on Monday, February 13, around the poultry premises.

This decision came following an investigation into a suspected case of Avian Influenza where laboratory analysis has identified the presence of H5N8.

Further investigations continue into the nature of the virus detected and to establish the possible source of the infection.

The 10km Temporary Control Zone consists of a 3km Zone A and 10km Zone B.

The controls in these zones are equivalent to those which would apply in the 3km Protection Zone and the 10km Surveillance Zone around a confirmed case.

Public Health England advises the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency is clear that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.

This is the ninth case of the disease to be identified in the UK since the first case was confirmed on December 16.

The UK government has taken swift action to limit the spread of the disease in recent weeks, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens has previously said.

“To reduce the risk of bird flu spreading from bird to bird there is currently a legal requirement for all poultry keepers, even those who just keep a few birds as pets, to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds.

There is also a ban on poultry gatherings. Bird flu is also transmitted via the environment, for example in wild bird droppings, and it is vital that keepers practice strict bio-security.

“This means taking precautions such as putting up netting, keeping food and water inside and disinfecting footwear and equipment after contact with birds,” he said.