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NFUS Urges Farmer and Public Vigilance for Avian Flu
14/11/07

NFU Scotland is urging poultry producers and the general public to be vigilant for signs of avian influenza following an outbreak of the disease in Suffolk.

geese

The strain of Avian Influenza present at the Infected Premises near Diss was confirmed yesterday as the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain.

In this crucial festive period for the poultry sector, producers will play their part by checking their stock on a regular basis and making sure their biosecurity arrangements are of the highest order.

However, the general public also has a crucial role in identifying this devastating disease as surveillance of wild fowl presents one of our best defences against bird flu getting into our domestic flock. Government is reminding people in Scotland’s priority areas of Angus, Fife, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, Falkirk, West Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders to report any dead wild birds, especially ducks, geese, swans, gulls and waders.

NFU Scotland’s Animal Welfare Policy Manager, Bob Carruth, said:

“Scotland’s poultry producers and keepers must remain alert for signs of avian influenza in their flocks. There is nothing to suggest that the disease has spread beyond the infected premises at Diss in Suffolk. However, the disease remains a threat.

“We also need the public’s help. We need them to play their part in surveillance and to stand by Scottish poultry and egg producers. Poultry sales, especially turkey, goose and chicken reach a peak in the run up to Christmas so we would reiterate the Food Standards Agency’s message that properly cooked poultry meat is perfectly safe to eat. We encourage everyone to support their Scottish farmers by continuing to choose Scottish turkey, goose, chicken and eggs.

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NFU Scotland