Poultry farmers are being urged to be vigilant and ensure heightened biosecurity protocols are in place following reports of a potential notifiable disease at a broiler breeder farm in Co Fermanagh.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) deputy president David Brown said: “The UFU are aware of the ongoing investigation and are monitoring the situation closely as we await test results. In the meantime, it is vital that all poultry and backyard keepers are vigilant.”
He urged producers to review their biosecurity measures and business continuity plans immediately to protect their own flock and help safeguard Northern Ireland’s poultry industry. The farmers are also being asked to avail of DAERA’s services.
“Maintaining high levels of biosecurity and practising good farm hygiene at all times is essential to reduce the risk of infection in poultry,” said Brown.
“This includes minimising all movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear before and after visiting birds, keeping your farm clean and tidy, regularly disinfecting hard surfaces, ensuring that rats and mice are controlled, keeping food and water in confined areas away from wild birds, and, where possible, keeping birds separate from wildlife using suitable fencing."
He asked that poultry keepers make themselves familiar with DAERA’s guidance on good biosecurity and outlined a text alert service that farmers can avail of. This system alerts poultry keepers to immediate notifications if there is a disease outbreak.
“It is important that producers make use of all the help and services that are available to them to protect their poultry business and if they have any suspicion of disease in their flock, they should contact their vet or local divisional veterinary office immediately,” he said.
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