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Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Sophie Brownson

Newcastle's Ouseburn Farm speaks of devastation after bird flu outbreak leads to death of all 50 birds

The manager of Newcastle's much loved Ouseburn Farm has spoken of his devastation at the death of its entire flock of birds following an outbreak of Avian Flu.

Hugh Stolliday has confirmed that all 50 of the farm's birds, which include chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese have sadly died.

The majority of the birds became suddenly unwell early on Sunday morning, January 23.

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Farm staff immediately closed the farm and contacted the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who visited that afternoon and carried out tests.

The results came back on Tuesday morning which confirmed that they had bird flu.

The city farm has been closed to the public since the birds became unwell and will remain closed until further notice.

Ouseburn Farm's heartbroken manager Hugh confirmed that the majority of the birds had sadly died as a result of the Avian Flu.

He said the remaining birds had been humanely culled to limit the risk of the disease spreading to other birds any potential risk to public health.

"It is obviously upsetting and distressing to see the birds get poorly," Hugh said.

"It is worrying. You worry about the staff, the volunteers, and our placements who are adults with learning difficulties and disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, who come to the farm. They worried as well about when the farm is going to reopen.

"It's had a long chain of knock-on effects."

He continued: "The birds became ill really suddenly. They were fine one day and then became ill on Sunday morning.

All of the birds at Ouseburn Farm have sadly died or been culled following the bird flu outbreak. (chroniclelive)

"We are doing everything we can to follow the guidance from DEFRA and follow all of the steps.

"It is a really unfortunate thing."

The farm, which has 10 members of staff and 80 volunteers, said that no other animals have been affected by the outbreak.

It will now undergo a deep cleaning and will not be able to restock with poultry for a period of time.

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone are currently in place around the premises.

Manager Hugh continued: "Staff are pretty upset. It is a hard thing to deal with.

Ouseburn Farm is closed following a bird flu outbreak. (chroniclelive)

"We obviously know that bird flu is around but, generally, when you hear about it on the news you think it is poultry farms with half a million birds that are affected, not a small community farm in Ouseburn."

A DEFRA spokeswoman said on Wednesday: "These birds have tested positive for bird flu, therefore they will sadly need to be culled in order to limit the risk of the disease spreading to other birds and to mitigate any potential risk to public health.

"A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises."

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