Bird flu alert in Edinburgh

BIRD flu is believed to have been detected at an Edinburgh farm raising fears of a potential outbreak in the Capital.

Routine tests carried out by farm workers found signs of the virus in some birds at Easter Norton Farm, near Edinburgh Airport.

Veterinary experts do not believe it is the more dangerous H5N1 strain of the virus – which is potentially deadly to humans in rare cases.

Other strains are understood to carry no health risks to humans.

Secondary tests are currently being carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in an effort to confirm this theory. The results are expected by the end of the day.

At Easter Norton Farm this afternoon, there was a sign on the gate banning all entry without permission and ordering that all vehicles which do enter have their wheels disinfected first, under the Animal Health Act 1981 and Avian Influenza or Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals. A bucket of disinfectant was left by the gate.

William Pollock, from the farm, said: "Nobody is allowed in or out, that is all we can say just now."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "At the moment routine follow up tests are being carried out. There are no causes for concern."

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