Register poultry to help beat avian flu

UK - Commercial poultry producers are being asked to register their flocks on a new database as part of an initiative to step up surveillance of avian flu and improve controls in the event of a possible future outbreak.

DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett said: "This database will allow us to know where poultry farms are and target effort and resources more effectively."

But while backyard and hobby flocks are to be included in the Northern Ireland list, it was unclear earlier this week whether DEFRA would follow suit in England.

Charles Bourns, chairman of the NFU poultry board, said discussions were still ongoing on the size of flocks to be covered.

But he believed DEFRA should take a similar approach to Northern Ireland.

"Backyard flocks must be part of the database - there is no point leaving them out. In Asia, the current avian influenza problem is in backyard flocks, not large commercial units," he said.

As concerns about the human implications of avian flu continue, the department of health, the NFU and poultry organisations have issued joint advice to commercial producers on how to protect themselves and their staff in the event of an outbreak.

Source: FWi
calendar icon 1 November 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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