Infectious Diseases 2007

Infectious Diseases 2007

Possibile link between the Hungarian and the UK outbreaks.

Uk & Hungary 8 February, 2007

The avian influenza outbreak at a Bernard Matthews' farm in Suffolk may be linked to imports from the firm's plant in Hungary. U.K. officials are looking at a possible link to an outbreak in Hungary, where Bernard Matthews has farms. Deputy Chief Vet Fred Landeg said a possible route of infection was from imported "poultry product".
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said preliminary scientific tests showed the two viruses may well be identical.
The Times and the Daily Mail, citing British civil service sources, said that the company, Europe's biggest turkey producer, transported turkey meat from an avian flu exclusion zone in Hungary, where there was a similar outbreak among geese last month, to the company's farm in Suffolk, east of London. Bernard Matthews owns Saga Foods, Hungary's largest poultry company, but company officials have pointed out that its processing plant, in Sarvar, is about 160km from Szentes, where the geese died.
The spokeswoman for the agriculture ministry said earlier that 38 tonnes of poultry were transported between the two sites each week.
She added that initial tests had showed that birds in three other sheds within the Bernard Matthews farm in Suffolk were found to have avian influenza.
Meanwhile Fred Landeg, the government's deputy chief vet, said that investigations had shown that "one possible route of infection is poultry product imported from Hungary."