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Avian Influenza Roadshow to Prepare Northern Ireland's Farmers

02 November 2015

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union will host the Poultry Health and Welfare Group’s educational avian influenza roadshow on the 27th November.

The event follows the aftermath of the US epornitic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2) that has cost the US poultry sector more that $1 bn and is estimated to cost US consumers more than $2 bn as a result of increased prices for eggs and foods containing egg products.  

The event, which is principally sponsored by Virkon, will be held at Cafre, Greenmount at 10.15 am and will be free for any interested party to attend.

The event aims to raise awareness and understanding of the dangers posed by avian influenza and to educate interested parties as to what actions they can take to reduce these risks and to protect the Northern Ireland poultry sector.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Dr Frazer Menzies (DARD VS), who will give a presentation entitled 'Everything you wanted to know about avian influenza but were too afraid to ask'. Dr Menzies’ talk will cover the disease origins, mechanisms for global spread, general epidemiology, as well as looking at the role of humans in disease spread.
  • David Mercer (DARD VS) will give a presentation entitled 'Avian influenza in Northern Ireland – A challenging prospect for the poultry industry'. This presentation will focus on the implications of an outbreak in Northern Ireland, including: early disease detection, emergency response, restriction zones, recovery from disease and return to normal market operations.
  • Gordon Hickman (Animal & Plant Health Agency – APHA) will give a presentation on ‘Avian influenza outbreak co-ordination’. Gordon is currently Head of Resilience & Central Services within the APHA, where he is responsible for developing the readiness and capability of the agency to deal with outbreaks of notifiable animal diseases, quarantine pests and diseases of plants and the response to other incidents and disruptive events. Within his presentation, Gordon will discuss his previous experience in dealing with outbreaks of avian influenza within England, along with what surprises they faced, how they overcame these issues, and what can we learn from previous outbreaks.
  • The final speaker of the day will be Dr Stephen Graham (CAFRE poultry advisor). Dr Graham will be presenting on 'The importance of bio-security on poultry sites'. His presentation will focus on practical hygiene advice, reasons for good biosecurity, personal protective equipment, why it's needed, and what could happen if it's not up to standard.

To register your interest, please contact Angela Scott at UFU HQ by phone on 02890370222 or via email at 

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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