A “low severity” case of avian flu has been detected on a chicken farm in Hampshire.

The outbreak of the H7 strain of avian flu was reported at an unnamed farm in the village of Upham yesterday (2 February).

Defra said “robust action” was being taken to prevent any spread of the disease, which posed a “very low risk to human health.” It added the H7 strain of the disease was a much less severe form than the H5N8 strain found at a duck farm owned by Cherry Valley Foods in East Yorkshire last November. The two cases are not believed to be linked.

A 1km poultry movement restriction zone has been imposed, and the birds at the commercial chicken breeding farm are to be culled.

Chief Vet Nigel Gibbens said authorities had “taken immediate action to contain this outbreak as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu.”

“We are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form. We are investigating the possible sources of the outbreak,” he added, and urged poultry keepers in the surrounding area to be vigilant for any signs of disease and to ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

“Swift action is being taken to control the outbreak and we are monitoring the situation closely,” said British Poultry Council CEO Andrew Large.