Europe’s vets are more worried than they admit publicly about the outbreak of bird flu in the UK. Until now, there has been a familiar pattern. Wild migratory birds start dropping out of the sky, having brought the virus from Asia, and then their domestic farm cousins start keeling over too.
However, despite extensive searches around the Bernard Matthews turkey farm on the east coast of England, no infected wild birds have been found. There are some sea gulls, which can carry the disease without succumbing to it. Nor are there infections on nearby farms. Of course this could happen any time.
But it’s a long way from Hungary, where the same virus has been found among geese, and Hungary is a long way from the sea. Is there another explanation?