Bird flu has been found in a flock of pheasants at a farm in Lancashire, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed. The UK’s chief veterinary officer said H5N8 avian flu has been discovered in the breeding pheasants in Pilling. Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to humans was “very low”. A 1.8 mile (3km) protection zone has been set up around the farm. Defra said a number of the 10,000 birds in the flock died with the rest culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection, said Defra. The Food Standards Agency said it was clear bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. There have been a number of outbreaks of the virus including one at a farm in Louth, Lincolnshire in December.Earlier that month, poultry keepers were told to keep their birds inside for 30 days to protect them from a highly-infectious strain of avian flu in Europe. The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 countries including Germany and France.
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