Biosecurity reminder for poultry producers

Sunday, 3 January, 2021

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging poultry farmers to be vigilant and adhere to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs' (DAERA) new housing measures which came into effect on 23 December 2020. The measures were introduced as part of the Avian Influenza (AI) prevention zone in Northern Ireland (NI).

UFU deputy president William Irvine said, “The UFU is aware of the Avian Influenza case that has been detected in a poultry unit in County Antrim. I would like to remind members that it is a legal requirement for all flocks, both large and small to comply with the new housing measures which came into effect on 23 December, as failure to do so may result in enforced action being taken. I urge all poultry keepers to review their biosecurity measures and business continuity plans immediately to protect their own flock and help safeguard the NI poultry industry.”

The UFU encourages producers to implement several heightened biosecurity protocols and to avail of DAERA’s services.

“To reduce the risk of infection in poultry, maintaining high levels of biosecurity and practicing good farm hygiene at all times is essential. It is important that poultry keepers make use of all the help and services that are available to them to protect their poultry business. I urge producers to make themselves familiar with DAERA’s guidance on good biosecurity and there is a text alert service which they can sign up to. To subscribe to the text alert service, text BIRDS to 67300. DAERA have also developed a biosecurity self-assessment tool on their website to assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules. If producers have any suspicion of disease in their flock, they should contact their vet or local divisional veterinary office immediately,” said Mr Irvine.

To read more about the diease control measures put in place by DAERA, click here.