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Irish government offers support for producers facing avian influenza

Ireland's agriculture minister announces a once-off support for poultry flock owners contending with outbreaks of low-pathogenic avian influenza.

7 July 2020, at 11:12am

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Barry Cowen TD, announced a once-off financial support scheme for a number of poultry flocks impacted by an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza this year. This particular strain of avian influenza (subtype H6N1) has no food safety implications, but does impact on flock productivity.

A number of poultry flocks have been affected by a particular strain of avian influenza (subtype H6N1) since February this year. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine does not have a legal basis to provide funding in respect of the H6N1 subtype as it is not of a subtype defined under the relevant EU legislation as requiring intervention.

However, a once-off financial support scheme has been put in place to provide some assistance to flock owners with the cost of depopulation of their flocks. This assistance will be provided by DAFM under agriculture de minimis state aid rules.

Minister Cowen said:

“I want to acknowledge that the flock owners in question have taken the correct action in depopulating their flocks for the greater good of the sector. In light of the significant economic impact this has had on their business, I am pleased to be able to provide some assistance towards the costs of depopulation which they have incurred.” The affected flock owners will receive details of the scheme including terms and conditions in the coming days.

Looking forward, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is also engaging with representatives of the sector with a view to encouraging the industry to put in place risk management measures for the future.