A COMMERCIAL duck breeding farm in Norfolk has become the latest site to be struck by highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza.

This latest case is close to the turkey farm that was found to have H5N8 in early December.

See also: 4 key things to know about a free-range poultry housing order

There is no suggestion at this stage that the cases are linked, with investigations into the source of infection ongoing.

Defra also said highly pathogenic H5N8 had been discovered in a small flock of laying hens near Gillingham, North Dorset, on 19 December.

Authorities will humanely kill birds in both cases to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

The latest cases follow confirmation of H5N1 in backyard poultry in Yorkshire and H5N8 on a small commercial flock in the Orkney island of Sanday.


In December, H5N8 has been reported in poultry in France, Ireland and the Netherlands.

And in wild birds, H5N8 has been reported in Belgium, Denmark, France,
Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

A H5N1 strain has been found in wild birds in Italy, and a H5N5 strain has been confirmed in Italy and Sweden.

A housing order is currently in place for free-range poultry across Great Britain.