A turkey rearing site in North Yorkshire has become the latest commercial poultry farm to register a case of bird flu

A turkey farm in North Yorkshire has become the third English commercial poultry site to be impacted by highly pathogenic influenza as the disease continues to spread across the country.

The H5N8 strain was confirmed at the unnamed turkey fattening premises on the outskirts of Northallerton on Saturday (28 November).

All 10,500 birds on the farm are in the process of being culled and 10km surveillance and 3km protection zones have been placed around the affected farm by Defra.

However, the incident is not anticipated to affect turkey supplies for the Christmas season, according to Defra.

“We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this farm to control and eliminate it,” said chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss.

“Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.”

Christmas turkey rush could lead to shortages of British birds

The FSA reiterated that avian influenzas posed a “very low food safety risk” for UK consumers.

The outbreak comes as highly pathogenic bird flu of the H5N8 strain has been found across the UK over the past month.

Commercial poultry sites in Cheshire and Herefordshire have registered outbreaks, with Defra and devolved administrations declaring a GB-wide bird flu prevention zone on 12 November.

Wild birds in seven counties across England, including Devon, Lancashire and Essex, have all tested positive for the disease, with migratory wild birds believed to be behind the outbreaks.