UK NFU says govt funding for avian influenza research is ‘positive step’

The UK saw its largest AI outbreak ever this year
calendar icon 27 June 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

Responding to the news that the UK government is funding research into avian influenza (AI), National Farmers' Union poultry board chair James Mottershead called the move a 'positive step.'

"After the largest AI outbreak the UK has ever seen this year, it’s good to see the government taking a positive step to help the industry tackle the disease in the future," he said.

"AI has been devastating for so many poultry farmers across the country, causing great distress emotionally, mentally and financially for farming families," he added. "We want to work with the government to minimise the impacts of any future AI outbreaks so we do not experience another year like this one."

Eight scientific organisations have been tasked with finding new ways to contain avian influenza outbreaks, headed by the research team at the Animal and Plant Health Agency. It has received £1.5 million (USD$1.84 million) from the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and has been tasked with developing new strategies to tackle future bird flu outbreaks.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about AI,"concluded Mottershead. "Hopefully this research can help us understand more about the disease and how we can prevent it, and ultimately put bird keepers in a better position to protect their flocks."

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