A HEREFORDSHIRE farm says officials from the Animal and Plant Health Agency have been on site to decide how to handle bird flu.

Avian influenza, known more commonly as bird flu, was found at one of Corbett Farms' sites in Shobdon, near Leominster, earlier this week.

It led to a raft of new measures being enforced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within a 10-mile radius of Ox House Farm in Ledicot Lane.

The farm confirmed bird flu – the H5N1 strain – had been found at one of its sites and the Animal and Plant Health Agency was on site on Friday.

The agency, part of Defra, works to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy. The farm said it would support whatever course of action was recommended.

"The APHA are currently on site assessing the situation and will determine what course of action then think appropriate to control the outbreak," Richard Corbett from the farm said.

"They will then enact their plan with full support from ourselves."

In a statement issued locally, the farm said a public footpath running through the site had been closed as access is restricted to control the disease.

Defra has already said all birds at the 25 English sites where the flu had been found would be humanely culled, with the site in Shobdon the latest on that list.

According to planning documents submitted by Corbett Farms to Herefordshire Council, 12,000 birds are housed there.

At 9pm on Thursday, control zones were authorised by the Secretary of State.

The two zones, which extend as far as 10-kilometres radius of the site, are to prevent the flu from spreading.

The 10-kilometre control zones mean 314.2 square kilometers of Herefordshire, as well as across the border into Powys, must follow certain rules surrounding poultry.

The NHS said the strain does not infect people easily and is not usually spread from human to human.

But several people have been infected around the world, leading to a number of deaths, it said.

An Avara spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a farm within the Avara supply chain has had Avian Influenza confirmed on site.

"We’re working closely with APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to manage the incident, and want to emphasise that there are no concerns about consequences for human health.

"Any outbreak causes inevitable disruption and there are a number of other farms in the area, but we’re already revising our plans and are confident that we can manage the impact and continue to meet our commitments.

"We do not comment on bird numbers by farm.”