Return to

Go to the start of the outbreak

The H5N1 bird flu outbreak at Bernard Matthews
Holton Suffolk February 2007 postings from the beginning


UK trade restrictions due to Avian Influenza (AI)

DEFRA reports
DEFRA's interim report (pdf new window )

A trade in disease? - important article at Country Smallholding (UK)

Final epidemiological Report (new window) published 19 April 2007

Latest news 

26th February 2009 ~ Bird Flu at Bernard Matthews again

November 3 2007 ~ Bernard Matthews chief's mysterious departure

October 12, 2007 ~ Bernard Matthews avian flu report casts doubts

July 24 2007 ~ "....a fantastic ingredient for a range of everyday meals and snacks, said Sharron, after Bernard Matthews handed over a big cheque to her..."

June 18 2007 ~ "They are well aimed kicks at individual birds. He is not just using his feet to gently move them out of the way."

May 14 2007 ~ Parallels between the site inspections at Heddon on the Wall just before FMD and those at the Matthews plant just before the discovery of H5N1 are inescapable.

May 13 2007 ~ Bognar Lajos, Hungary's deputy chief veterinary officer, conceded that the H5N1 virus could have gone undetected in a Hungarian turkey flock which was sent to slaughter.

May 2 2007 ~ Testing was not complete until 14 days after the Bernard Matthews plant was re-opened.

April 30 2007~ Questions must continue about the Bernard Matthews H5N1 outbreak

April 30 2007~ The mystery that still surrounds the Bernard Matthews avian flu case must continue to worry us - for several reasons

April 25 2007 ~ Hungary denies any connection with UK bird flu outbreak

April 23 2007 ~ Hungarian agriculture ministry say that EU experts said "it was impossible that the Hungarian outbreak was in any way related to the British."

April 20-22 2007 ~ "as with foot and mouth, the Government have failed to establish the cause of the outbreak of bird flu in Suffolk.."

April 19/20 2007 ~".. we are left with the possibility that meat products from pre-clinically infected turkeys, infected from a common source with the Hungarian outbreaks in January 2007, might have been slaughtered and exported to the Holton site"

April 19 2007 ~ Ben Bradshaw: "The key to effective disease control is good surveillance, early detection and rapid response"

April 19 2007 ~ "Planning was tested by the avian influenza case in Suffolk earlier this year and it coped well..."

April 12 2007 ~ "Animal welfare is an issue of great importance for Europeans..."

Friday April 6th ~ wild birds and access to waste meat...should the law be changed?

April 4 2007 ~" ...what they are saying is inhuman, stupid and Neanderthal.."

April 2 2007 ~ The FSA are not going to prosecute the Bernard Matthews factory - "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction "

March 27 2007 ~ "Given that a key part of the remit of the FAO is to develop international agricultural trade, reticence to accept that this trade is the main agent of global dispersal of HPAI H5N1 is perhaps unsurprising."

March 26 2007 ~ "Within the area around the infected premises, there were enhanced levels of surveillance of wild birds."

March 26 2007 ~ "Paradoxically, the H5N1 virus coupled with a fear of transmission by wild birds could lead to a reversion to battery farming which increases risk of outbreaks."

March 25 2007 ~ "The conference recommended that poultry should be vaccinated against avian influenza.."

March 22/23 2007 ~ Richard Sanders at Verona: "Well, I think we are winning the argument..."

March 18/19 2007 ~ If rules could really be shown to be based on common sense there would be no argument.

March 9 2007 ~"Together with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) we're working hard to learn all we can from this episode." Bernard Matthews

March 8 2007 ~ It would be useful know for certain that the Holton chicks were not infected via feed.

March 8 2007 ~ 93 tons of turkey meat from Hungary (unrecognised apparently by the TRACES database) were being processed in Holton at the height of the outbreak

March 8 2007 ~ " Is it not time to abandon this Buzzword, "BIOSECURITY", so beloved by Defra and government".

March 7 2007 ~ " it is considered acceptable for us to risk contracting bird flu from our poultry"

March 6 2007 ~ "Figures for imports into the United Kingdom of live day-old turkey chicks from outside the EU are not currently available. All consignments of live birds are liable to documentary and identity checks." Lord Rooker ( Hansard )

March 6 2007 ~ Hansard slip...

March 6 2007 ~"... what the remit is of the inquiry by his Department into the recent events at Bernard Matthews at Holton in Suffolk; and how the (a) proceedings and (b) conclusions of the inquiry will be communicated to the public"

March 5 ~ "... the development of highly pathogenic strains of bird flu lies at the door of factory farming."

March 5 2007 ~ Avian influenza targets those without a voice - An enquiry should be conducted into the role of the global, intensive poultry industry in the spread of H5N1

March 3/4 2007 ~"The massive international movement of livestock and their products - the only possible beneficiaries of such unnecessary movements are a few powerful individuals ..The rest of us pay the price ."