Poultry Club Meets Defra to Discuss Rare Breed Survival in Bird Flu Outbreaks

UK - The Poultry Club of Great Britain (PCGB) has hailed the results of a meeting with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
calendar icon 25 January 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

The meeting followed the appointment of PCGB Council Members Jed Dwight and Lee Grant as liaisons to the Government Department last week, and was organised so that introductions could be made, a strong relationship sustained and answers to issues concerning avian influenza obtained.

Speaking afterwards, Lee Grant said: "The PCGB has always had a strong relationship with Defra, and it was great to be able to ensure that that relationship continues to go from strength to strength, in the interest of all of the Poultry Clubs members, as well as poultry keepers more widely."

Keepers of small flocks were previously criticised by government and farming union figures for putting farmed flocks in danger of avian flu by not following the rules, which the PCGB stongly rebuffed. The organisation is now arranging to meet with the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Resulting from the meeting, the PCGB received clarity on a number of avian-flu related issues. Defra confirmed to the club that if rare breed poultry were on an infected site, but not infected themselves, efforts would be made to try and preserve the rare breeds.

Defra highlighted a lack of easy communication with all poultry keepers, as some had not provided email addresses or phone numbers, so the department encouraged keepers to make sure their details are up to date on Defra's register.

Defra officials also confirmed to the PCGB that compensation would be paid for healthy birds culled during outbreaks in accordance with rules for commercial flocks. In the case of purebred poultry, birds would be valued before the cull. However, the PCGB said most of its members would not be interested in compensation and only wanted to preserve rare genetics.

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