November 15, 2007: Day-old ducklings imported from the Netherlands are being investigated as a possible route for the H5N1 avian flu virus arriving in Britain, according to a report in The Times.

The newspaper claims a company, which is supplied by the affected farm, received regular supplies of ducklings delivered by a Dutch exporter.

It said the focus of inquiries is on the vehicle and driver, whether there are any links with previous outbreaks of the virus in mainland Europe, and whether there was any opportunity for the disease to be spread through the company via vehicles, equipment or staff.

Imports of speciality poultry meats by the firm are also part of the official inquiry which is also looking at wild birds, said The Times. The company concerned regularly imports guinea fowl, poussin, barbary duck breasts and legs and smoked duck breasts, said the report.

However, to date there has been no outbreaks of H5N1 in the Netherlands since mid 2006.