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CLA Statement On Avian Influenza
07/03/06

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has been working closely with responsible Government department, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) since the threat of an outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) arose.

chickens

The CLA is aware that many of its members are concerned that, if there is an outbreak of bird flu, there will be a repeat of the chaos that accompanied Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001. At present, we have no reason to believe that the situation will be the same. Although nothing is ever foolproof, the level of contingency planning and the extent of consultation with interested parties has been far better.

The CLA is aware that many of its members are concerned that if there is an outbreak of bird flu there will be a repeat of the chaos that accompanied Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001. It is because of these concerns that the CLA has been in close contact with DEFRA, and, at present, we have no reason to believe that the situation will be the same. Although nothing is ever foolproof, the level of contingency planning and the extent of consultation with interested parties is much improved.

In any event, I am confident that whatever the outcome, the CLA's advisory services department is prepared fully to advise our members on their concerns, as they do already on almost all matters concerning rural land management.

CLA's advisers are able to pass on the latest policy developments and best practice guidance on issues such as bio-security. Our lawyers can give informed advice on matters such as the powers of DEFRA officials, the enforcement of shooting contracts and the employer liability for those those working with poultry and wild birds.

The important issues for the time being, are firstly that everyone working with poultry or wild birds maintains a high level of biosecurity, secondly they checks their capacity to house birds or otherwise separate them from wild birds.

link CIWF Calls on EU to Protect Animal Welfare in Face of Bird Flu Threat
link Bird flu virus advances in Nigeria
link Bird flu: concern grows over possible spread in West Africa
link Avian flu in Africa: FAO/OIE urge quick action
link Bird flu virus could spill over to Africa and Europe in springtime

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