A POULTRY firm, which has a factory in Hereford, has said all chickens at a farm with bird flu will be killed.

Avara Foods, which has a factory in Red Barn Drive, said the broiler breeder farm near Leominster is in its supply chain.

The food giant, which also has factories in Brackley, Newent and Abergavenny, said contingency plans are in place to ensure supply to some of the UK's biggest supermarkets and restaurants are not affected.

The pathogenicity – how deadly the virus is – has not yet been confirmed, but all the birds will be slaughtered.

A spokesperson for Avara Foods said: "We can confirm that avian influenza has been confirmed on a broiler breeder farm within the Avara Foods supply chain.

"The pathogenicity has not been confirmed but a decision has been made to slaughter the birds, given the large number of farms in the region.

"We have enacted our contingency plan and are working closely with government agencies and our wider suppliers and farming operations to manage this incident effectively, protect the wider Avara supply chain and ensure that supply is not disrupted.

"Additional precautionary measures are in place across our agricultural operations but it is important to stress that there is no risk to human health or food safety."

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The strain, H5N8, has not infected any humans worldwide to date, the NHS says.

A control zone has been put in place around the farm, which the Hereford Times understands is in Knapton between Hereford and Leominster, which means additional restrictions are in place for bird keepers within a 15-mile radius.

Measures are stricter for sites with birds within a three-mile radius.

READ MORE: Control zone in Herefordshire after bird flu outbreak

The restrictions, enforced by the Government, limit the movement of birds and farms need to be stringent with other biosecurity measures.

The site in the Knapton area provides eggs which are then sent to hatcheries. It's then the chicks are moved again to other sites to grow before being sent to factories across the country, including in Hereford.