CROSS-BORDER CO-OPERATION NEEDED TO STEM BIRD FLU THREAT SAYS IFA

18 November 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

IFA President Tim Cullinan has called for enhanced co-operation at statutory and farmer level in the Border region to prevent an avian influenza outbreak in the approach to the Christmas period. Poultry farmers in Co Monaghan, the centre of the national industry, were put on alert this week after the Department of Agriculture introduced enhanced biosecurity measures as a precaution against a bird flu outbreak. A strain of HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been identified in a number of wild birds in several counties in recent months.

The disease presents no risk to consumers of poultry products but it can have a devastating effect on poultry flocks, causing high mortality rates or reduced egg production. IFA President Tim Cullinan this week called on all poultry farmers to be particularly vigilant. He appealed to authorities on both sides of the Border to work closely together on monitoring and decision-making relating to “this animal disease issue”.

Mr Cullinan said detections of the avian influenza strain in Ireland were not unexpected given the emergence of the disease in the UK, but it was important for poultry farmers to review their biosecurity practices. “The IFA has updated all of our poultry members reminding them of the measures they should take to protect their flock.” The IFA President stated. “Strict bio-security measures are observed in both egg production and broiler farms in Ireland, but flock owners must be especially vigilant at this time and for the coming winter months. “The risk is not confined to large-scale commercial production, but also to the many thousands of so-called ‘back yard flocks’. All flock owners should feed and water birds inside or under cover to…

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