UFU host Avian Influenza Roadshow

Wednesday, 2 December, 2015

The Poultry Health and Welfare Group’s Avian Influenza Roadshow, hosted by the UFU, welcomed over 160 farmers and industry experts to discuss the potential impact from this devastating disease.  The message was that this it remains a threat, and that farmers and others must protect themselves against the havoc it could cause.

“Over the last year alone, Great Britain has experienced three cases which have cost the industry there in excess of £50 million,” said UFU president Ian Marshall. He warned that in the face of such a threat, it is vital the industry does all it can to reduce the risk.  “This is about protecting the livelihood of farmers and the thousands who work in what is a vitally important part of the Northern Ireland agricultural sector,” he said.

Speakers delivered a consistent message, stressing the importance high levels of on-farm biosecurity, vigilance by farmers and early reporting to DARD to ensure a rapid response in order to stamp out any infection quickly.  Farmers across the industry were urged to have a contingency plan in place for an outbreak.  “An outbreak would have serious implications for the movement of all animals into and out of the surveillance zone.  It is vital farmers have a plan for how they would keep their business operating under these circumstances,” said Mr Marshall.

Speaker presentations included:

On farm Hygiene and Bio - Security

Avian Influenza Contingency Planning - DARD

Avian Influenza presentation by Gordan Hickman - Animal &Plant Health Agency 

Avian Influenza presentation by Fraser Menzies - Veterinary Epidemiology Unit


Picturesd L-R is speakers Gordan Hickman, APHA, Frazer Menzies, DARD, Maive Burnett and Laura Stearman, Poultry Health and Welfare Group, and David Mercer and Stephen Graham, DARD.