Avian flu virus in Bernard Matthews’ flocks is H6N1

Tests on two turkey breeder flocks have confirmed the presence of H6N1 avian flu.

DEFRA added that the H6 virus type has been isolated in domestic poultry and wild birds in Europe over the last few years.

Animal Health began the investigation early last week on two of Bernard Matthews’ units following a reported drop in egg production.

Official vets are now awaiting further laboratory tests to determine whether the virus is high or low pathogenicity. These results are not expected for some days.

However, officials believe it is the low-pathogenic type as only the H5 and H7 sub types have been associated with high pathogenicity.

Restrictions remain in place on the premises while the investigation continues. DEFRA added that no further precautionary restrictions are considered necessary in the area at present.