Biosecurity reminder for poultry keepers

Monday, 16 November, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging poultry farmers and backyard keepers, to be vigilant and ensure that heightened biosecurity protocols are in place, following confirmation that a wild bird in Co. Derry tested positive for Avian flu (AI).

UFU deputy president, William Irvine said, “The UFU are aware of the Avian influenza case that have been reported and we are monitoring the situation. It is a reminder that poultry and backyard keepers should be vigilant at all times. 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 all poultry keepers to implement a number of heightened biosecurity protocols and to avail of DAERA’s services.

“To reduce the risk of infection in poultry, maintaining high levels of biosecurity and practicing good farm hygiene at all times is essential. This includes cleaning footwear before and after visiting birds, keeping your farm clean and tidy, regularly disinfecting hard surfaces, ensuring that rodents are controlled, keeping food and water in confined areas away from wild birds, and where possible keeping birds separate from wildlife using suitable fencing. These guidelines also apply to backyard keepers.  All non-essential visits to poultry farms should also be avoided.

“It is important that poultry keepers make use of all the help and services that are available to them to protect their poultry business. I urge producers to 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.  To subscribe to the text alert service, text BIRDS to 67300.  If producers have any suspicion of disease in their flock, they should contact their vet or local divisional veterinary office immediately,” said Mr Irvine.

The UFU would like to issue a reminder that anyone who keeps poultry, even if it is only one bird, is required by law to register their flock with DAERA.  This can be done by clicking here