Turkey turnabout

Britain's first outbreak of bird flu may have been caused by semi-processed turkey meat imported from Hungary, where the disease is prevalent.

Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs officials said 38 tonnes a week had been sent to the processing plant of the Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Suffolk, where the H5N1 strain of the virus erupted a week ago.

The revelation is a remarkable about-turn. Earlier, Environment Secretary David Miliband had assured the Commons that there was "no Hungarian connection" and that the outbreak had most likely been brought to Britain by wild birds.

The Bernard Matthews company has a large Hungarian subsidiary which produces turkeys under the brand name Saga, and avian flu has been found in Hungary.

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