Production resumes at bird flu farm

13 February, 2007

Production has been resumed at the Bernard Matthews Suffolk turkey farm at the centre of the bird flu outbreak after the Government gave the go-ahead to restart operations.

Production has been resumed at the Bernard Matthews Suffolk turkey farm at the centre of the bird flu outbreak

The government has given the company the go-ahead to restart operations and poultry have begun to arrive there. They are being taken in under a special licence which allows them to cross into the exclusion zone which remains in place around the site.

Environment secretary David Miliband said the plant's slaughterhouse had been re-licensed by the Meat Hygiene Service after cleansing and disinfection at the site, and the Food Standards Agency had investigated all aspects of the slaughterhouse and found them of "an appropriate standard".

Dame Deidre Hutton, of the FSA, said nothing had yet been found to suggest a link to public health, although she did admit that it was a "possibility" that infected poultry had entered the food chain.

Officials are still trying to work where the H5N1 virus was found in the farm from. Miliband said he expected a further report from the investigation by the end of the week and all options remained under consideration.

"Our co-operation with the Hungarian government remains intensive and constructive. Our vets are in regular touch and we are working to identify the origin of this outbreak," he said.





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