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Potential poultry disease prompts calls from UFU for strict biosecurity

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging poultry farmers to be vigilant and to ensure that heightened biosecurity protocols are in place following reports of a potential notifiable disease at a broiler breeder farm in Co. Fermanagh.

10 January 2020, at 1:51pm

UFU deputy president, David Brown said, “The UFU are aware of the ongoing investigation and are monitoring the situation closely as we await test results. In the meantime, it is vital that all poultry and backyard keepers are vigilant. I urge them 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 a number of heightened biosecurity protocols and to avail of DAERA’s services.

“Maintaining high levels of biosecurity and practicing good farm hygiene at all times is essential to reduce the risk of infection in poultry. This includes minimising all movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear before and after visiting birds, keeping your farm clean and tidy, regularly disinfecting hard surfaces, ensuring that rats and mice are controlled, keeping food and water in confined areas away from wild birds, and where possible keeping birds separate from wildlife using suitable fencing.

“Poultry keepers should also make themselves familiar with DAERA’s guidance on good biosecurity and there is a text alert service which they can sign up to. Through this system they will receive immediate notifications if there is a disease outbreak. It is important that producers make use of all the help and services that are available to them to protect their poultry business and if they have any suspicion of disease in their flock, they should contact their vet or local divisional veterinary office immediately,” said Mr Brown.

To subscribe to the text alert service, text BIRDS to 67300.