An outbreak of avian influenza detected at a broiler breeder farm in Hampshire, U.K., has been confirmed to be of the low pathogenic H7N7 serotype. The outbreak was initially reported by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Animal and Plant Health Agency (Defra), on February 2, with the serotype confirmation being announced on February 6.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported that the farm housed about 10,000 40-week-old housed broiler chickens. Fifty-two of those birds had died as a result of contracting the virus.
Defra stated there is no link between the H7N7 outbreak and the H5N8 avian influenza outbreak that was found at a Yorkshire duck farm in November, 2014.
A 1-kilometer poultry movement restriction zone has been imposed and all birds at the commercial chicken breeding farm have been culled to prevent the potential spread of infection.
“We have taken immediate action to contain this outbreak as part of our robust procedures for dealing swiftly with avian flu. This is a low severity form of the virus and we are taking action to ensure that the disease does not spread or develop into a more severe form. We are investigating the possible sources of the outbreak,” said Nigel Gibbens, chief veterinarian.