A live webinar on the importance of protecting birds from Avian Influenza.

On 20th October 2020, the Poultry Health and Welfare group, chaired by BPC’s Technical Director, Máire Burnett, organised a live webinar to promote awareness of Avian Influenza and the risk it poses to the domestic wild bird population, as migratory birds return to winter here in the United Kingdom.

Avian Influenza is a significant threat to the commercial poultry industry and risks huge economic disruption to international trade. However, informative presentations made by key speakers – including the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, the Poultry Club of GB, Defra, the British Poultry Council Veterinary Advisor and a key exporter of high value breeding stock – meant that the 500 registered viewers were assured of what to look out for, who to contact and how to implement the necessary biosecurity measures to ensure the protection of the health of the national poultry flock, the environment and the wider rural economy.

Whilst speaking at the event, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss declared that “our main priority is to protect your animals,” which is why “swift reporting is necessary.” “Bird flu is constantly out there in the world…just because it is far away, doesn’t mean it isn’t there!”

Similarly, after presenting a discussion on what bird owners should look out for and biosecurity tips, British Poultry Council Veterinary Advisor, Daniel Parker, said that “it is better to report it and get advice than harbour and spread it” and cause disruption, as Colin Adams, Company Veterinarian, Aviagen, highlighted, which includes “supply chain interruption, high clean up costs, business continuity, media attention and customer perception.”

You can watch the webinar on our YouTube Channel.

The UK Poultry Health and Welfare group is the voice for the poultry industry on matters relating to animal health and welfare policy and delivery. It brings together each part of the UK poultry sector engaged in breeding and rearing poultry species, including gamebirds, for commercial production. Members include the British Poultry Council, British Egg Industry Council, the National Farmers Union, the Game Farmers Association and the British Veterinary Poultry Association. The group’s aim is for continuous improvement in the health of the national poultry flock, whilst protecting the health of other poultry and humans, the environment and the wider rural economy.