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6,000 ducks are culled on farm hit by bird flu

By PA Reporters

Culling of thousands of ducks has been taking place on a farm hit by bird flu, as officials confirmed it was the same strain of the virus as one recently identified on the continent.

Some 6,000 ducks were being killed on the farm at Nafferton, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, which is operated by the UK's largest producer of duck and duck products, Cherry Valley, following the identification of "highly pathogenic" H5N8 bird flu.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the disease was the same strain as one confirmed at a chicken farm in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and in Germany.

But the chief medical officer said the risk to public health from the virus is "very low". The cull to prevent any spread of infection was being carried out in a "safe and humane manner" by Government staff.

It is the first serious case of bird flu since 2008, when a strand was found in hens near Banbury, Oxfordshire.

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