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Awareness Call to New Poultry Keepers

by 5m Editor
1 June 2010, at 6:14am

SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland is calling on those members of the general public excited by the prospect of producing their own eggs and poultrymeat to make sure they put the best interests of the hens as their first priority.

On the countryside programme, 'Landward', aired in Scotland on BBC2 last Friday (28 May) at 7.00pm, a feature looked at the significant increase in the number of households looking to keep their own poultry.

NFU Scotland and the programme makes the point that the welfare of the stock must take priority and those contemplating such a move should undergo appropriate training in keeping poultry and ensure they have veterinary support.

NFU Scotland’s Communications Director, Bob Carruth, said: “There is a danger that people get caught up in the whole wave of producing your own food without giving serious thought to all that is involved in properly looking after your hens and chickens. There is a big difference between growing a few carrots and lettuce to actually keeping and looking after livestock. “These birds are not pets or fashion items and I am glad the programme points potential bird-keepers towards the need for appropriate training in how to look after the hens and that veterinary advice should be available. Both are essential to the health and welfare of the birds.

“We would also encourage those keeping hens in their gardens or backyards to register their birds with the authorities. Diseases, such as avian influenza and Newcastle Disease, pose huge health risks to wild birds, small flocks and commercial poultry stocks. In the event of any outbreak, it is in everyone’s interests that we know where all birds are being kept and I would urge any new flock owners to sign up to the Poultry Register.”