UK - Traditional poultry breed organisation The Poultry Club of Great Britain has rebuffed claims made by NFU President Meurig Raymond that backyard poultry keepers are endangering commercial poultry keepers in the UK.
The comments, made at the recent Oxford Farming conference, also led to the Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom focusing her attention on smallholdings complying with the rules.
All poultry keepers in Britain have been ordered to bring birds indoors or keep them separate from wild birds, and gatherings involving poultry have been banned.
Commenting, the President of the Poultry Club of Great Britain Jim Young said: "The Poultry Club of Great Britain regret the comments made by the President of the National Farmers Union, in which he says that backyard poultry keepers are endangering commercial poultry keepers.
"Our members are fully committed to carrying out the very best practices when it comes to protecting their stock, and those of others. We all appreciate the importance of the job that we carry out as guardians for breeds of poultry, many of which have been in this country for hundreds of years, and played a vital role in building the commercial sector that we are proud to have today.
"As a club we have been bombarded with concerned backyard poultry keepers who have had no direction from the relevant authorities on what they should be doing to protect their stock, and by doing so protect the general poultry population.
"The fact that this disease is in the wildfowl population across Europe is the biggest concern facing both the poultry industry and backyard poultry keepers like many of our members, and as such, this is where the relevant authorities, and commentators, should be focusing their attention.
"This Club will do everything it can to protect rare breeds of poultry, and the interests of our members during this time. I would however like to confirm our dedication to the UK's commercial poultry sector, and that joint working will prove vital in bringing an end to the spread of this disease."
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