ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Defra statement on Avian Influenza

by 5m Editor
26 August 2005, at 12:00am

UK - A working group of veterinary experts from Member States met with the Commission today (25 August 2005) in Brussels. The Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, welcomed the very constructive meeting and its conclusions.

Defra statement on Avian Influenza UK - A working group of veterinary experts from Member States met with the Commission today (25 August 2005) in Brussels. The Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, welcomed the very constructive meeting and its conclusions. The experts agreed that the recent outbreaks in Russia are a cause for concern but that the risk of the virus spreading into the EU via migrating birds is remote or low. They concluded that it would not be proportionate to the current risk of disease to introduce a general ban on keeping poultry outdoors. This is fully in line with the Government's risk assessment published on the Defra website.

They also concluded that:
  • Member States should intensify surveillance programmes to include migratory wildfowl.
  • Member States should review biosecurity measures based on local risk assessments;
  • Member States should encourage farmers to further improve biosecurity;
  • Member States should review existing contingency plans;
  • Member States should maintain effective controls on imports, including measures to combat illegal imports.
The Government supports these conclusions and is already implementing many of them.
  • The CVO today met with experts on bird migration. They confirmed the Government's assessment that the risk from migrating birds was low and agreed to establish a working group to advise on surveillance and monitor developments.
  • The Government will issue to the industry and veterinarians short guidance on assessing risk of AI locally.
  • There is already biosecurity guidance to farmers on the Defra website; the Government will consider what further steps might be necessary to ensure wide awareness of it.
  • The Government already has a comprehensive contingency plan on the Defra website, which was reviewed only last month.
  • The Government has taken action to prevent imports of susceptible birds and their products from countries affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza. The Government has committed £25m to improvements in detecting and preventing illegal imports.
Debby Reynolds said "the meeting has supported our conclusion that the risk of HPAI entering the EU remains low. However, there is no room for complacency. We are pleased that it has recognised the need for proportionate action, which is fully in line with our current programme but we are keeping the matter under review."

Source: DEFRA - 26th August 2005

5m Editor