Poultry keepers must remain vigilant, says UFU

rooster or chicken on traditional free range poultry farm

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says poultry farmers and backyard keepers must ensure they continue to have strict biosecurity measures in place, following confirmation of a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) in England.

UFU poultry chairman David Ramsay said, “It is vital that in response to the first case of the year detected in England, all poultry and bird keepers across Northern Ireland review and heighten their biosecurity where necessary to protect their farm business and the entire sector from infection. We urge all poultry keepers to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on flocks for any AI symptoms. If producers suspect disease, they should contact their vet or local divisional veterinary office immediately.”

Mr Ramsay added that the registration of all birds with DAERA is key to controlling the disease in Northern Ireland. “We all have a part to play in protecting our industry. I cannot stress enough how important it is for backyard keepers as well as poultry farmers to ensure their flock is registered with DAERA Bird Keeper and for producers to make themselves familiar with DAERA’s biosecurity information and text alert service. Through this system they will receive immediate notifications of any important disease information. It’s vital that compliance with the rules is adhered to by everyone.”

To register your flock, click here. To subscribe to DAERA’s text alert service, text BIRDS OPT IN to add your number to RECEIVE text messages to 07860 098672.