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Avian Influenza: Disease Control

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 38746, tabled on 18 July 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the needs and concerns of small avian farms are considered when developing the Government’s response to avian flu outbreaks.

Answered on

22 July 2022

Defra in collaboration with the Devolved Administrations host regular avian influenza stakeholder meetings attended by organisations representing the breadth of the bird keeping sector including commercial, small scale, pet and specialist bird keepers, together with ornithological and veterinary sector representatives. Expert advice is also sought by the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer and animal health policy officials through the Ornithology National Experts Group and Great Britain Avian Exotic Disease Core Group which include representatives from across the bird keeping sector. These forums, in conjunction with facilitating transmission of information from government on the latest outbreak situation, control measures and biosecurity advice to the sector, provide the opportunity for the sector to escalate questions and feedback to government.

In addition, the Animal and Plant Health Agency is leading on a cross-government, cross-agency review of lessons from the recent outbreak which will identify what went well and areas where improvements can be made to improve the effectiveness of the response to future outbreaks. Stakeholders, including small avian farms, have fed into this process and their suggestions and concerns will be reviewed as part of this.