SCOTS VETS BATTLE NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN PARTRIDGES

The state Veterinary Service, in Scotland, has culled around 14,000 poultry, mainly grey partridge being reared for meat.

The state Veterinary Service, in Scotland, has culled around 14,000 poultry, mainly grey partridge being reared for meat, to stamp out an outbreak of Newcastle Disease that was confirmed in East Lothian, earlier this month.

Restrictions on moving poultry and hatching eggs have been imposed within a 3km 'protection zone' and 10km 'surveillance zone' centred on Fenton Barns, Drem.

These rules will remain in place well into November, only being lifted if there are no further outbreaks of the disease. The variant is Pigeon PMV1, which is common in feral pigeons population, but which rarely infects commercial poultry flocks. The Office International des Épizooties (OIE), the world animal health organisation, says that Newcastle Disease has not previously been found in Britain since July 2005.

In the current outbreak, there were actually 2,000 cases, with other birds being slaughtered as a precaution. The disease strain was identified by the UK's Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA), Weybridge, Surrey.

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