18 August 2018 | Online since 2003

24 February 2017

AI UPDATE 11th November 2016

11 November 2016

Dear All

The HPAI situation has deteriorated markedly in continental Europe over the last few days and Defra has increased the risk of a wild bird infection in the UK from ‘low’ to ‘medium’.

HPAI has been confirmed in turkeys in Hungary, in dead wild birds in Poland, in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and (to be confirmed) in Holland. I understand that the authorities in some German states and in Holland have issued housing orders for all commercial poultry.

Defra’s AI Core Group are meeting on 15 November to discuss the situation, and the housing of the birds in particular. I have not been invited to the meeting but I have asked BEIC to be included as agreed during the BFREPA/BEIC review earlier in the year.

As a reminder, it is essential to maintain high levels of biosecurity as all the evidence from previous outbreaks points to human vectors being the principal agent of spread once HPAI is present (via wild birds) in a region. Also don’t forget Defra/APHA’s “testing for exclusion” scheme. If AI is not strongly suspected, a producer and their private vet now have access to a testing service at the National Reference Laboratory, Weybridge. This will help detect a notifiable avian disease at the earliest opportunity for those cases. It is aimed at those cases where clinical signs cannot exclude HPAI and yet do not justify a consultation case or official inquiry.
Kind regards
Robert Gooch
British Free Range Egg Producers Association

Tel 07771 887311


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