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Britain confirms H5N8 bird flu outbreak at turkey farm in eastern England

A closed road leading to a chicken farm is seen after an outbreak of bird flu in the village of Upham in southern England February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
 

LONDON (Reuters) - The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found at a turkey farm in Lincolnshire, eastern England, Britain's agriculture department said on Friday.

Most birds at the farm have died and any remaining birds there will be humanely culled, it said.

Several European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some have ordered poultry flocks be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading.

France last week widened high risk restrictions to the entire country after the detection of several cases of the H5N8 strain in farms in southwest France and in wild ducks in northern France.

The last case of bird flu in Britain was in July 2015 when the H7N7 strain was detected near Preston, northern England. Earlier that year the same strain was confirmed at a farm in Hampshire, southern England.

"The advice from (health authorities) is that the risk to public health from the virus is very low...," the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement.

"There is not anticipated to be any impact on the supplies of turkeys or other birds over Christmas."

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