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Bird Flu - NFU Scotland Update
07/04/06

Following a meeting this morning with Scotland’s agriculture Minister Ross Finnie, NFU Scotland President John Kinnaird said:

swan

“We had an extremely useful meeting. The industry continues to take steps to minimise any chance that bird flu could enter our farmed population. We must remember that we still only have one isolated case in a dead wild swan. There is no guarantee whatsoever that the disease will spread onto farms. Right across Europe, other than in a couple of isolated incidences, the cases of H5N1 have remained in the wild bird population.

“The poultry industry is on high alert. In fact, it has been that way for months now as Scotland's farmers have watched the disease creep closer to this country. That period of watching and waiting has also provided time to put plans in place. These are now being implemented on the ground, particularly for 250,000 free-range or organic birds that are being brought indoors in the widened risk area.

“This morning I took some poultry farmers both from within the 10 kilometre zone and the wild bird risk area to meet the Minister. It is important that he heard first hand their thoughts on a fast-moving situation and the effect of restrictions. In particular, their view is that the current government approach is proportionate to the risk and they have welcomed the fact that current preventative measures are being based on strong scientific advice.

“Restrictions in the 10 kilometre zone can seriously hamper businesses so it is important that we don’t jump to similar nationwide control measures unless the veterinary experts deem it necessary; a point the Minister was clearly conscious of.

“One of the keys to successfully tackling these kinds of disease situations is strong and clear communication between government, vets and industry – that was what this morning’s meetings, and those taking place each day, are all about.”

SCOTTISH AVIAN INFLUENZA HELPLINE 0131 244 0404

link NFU supports housing of birds in Fife area
link H5N1 Confirmed, Further Movement Restrictions Imposed
link Bird Flu Tests - Preliminary Positive on Dead Swan
link Bird flu outbreaks continue in Africa, Asia, Europe and Near East
link H5N1 Avian flu tests on dead wild bird in Scotland
link CLA Statement On Avian Influenza
link CIWF Calls on EU to Protect Animal Welfare in Face of Bird Flu Threat

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