Belfast Telegraph

Union warns farmers over bird flu risk

By Staff Reporter

The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) is urging poultry farmers to be vigilant in light of continued outbreaks of bird flu on continental Europe, mainly in Italy, Bulgaria and Germany.

It follows a briefing with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the poultry sector.

UFU poultry vice chairman Ronnie Wells said: "We strongly recommend that all poultry keepers, including backyard keepers, review their biosecurity measures and business continuity plans now, as the risk level may well increase in the coming weeks.

"Producers should familiarise themselves with DAERA's guidance on good biosecurity, and if you have any suspicion of disease within your flock, you should contact your vet or the local DVO immediately."

In Northern Ireland, the current risk level of an incursion in wild birds and poultry remains low.

Mr Wells urged farmers to sign up to the avian influenza text alert service by texting BIRDS to 67300.

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