Bird flu: movement welcomed

Poultry bosses have welcomed the issuing of movement licences within the avian influenza control zone.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) is also calling on all poultry operators inside the zone to maintain the highest levels of biosecurity.

Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the BPC, said: "We are working closely with Defra to help the poultry companies in the zones regain a level of business continuity, without breaking the biosecurity containment.

"We welcome the decision by Defra to issue movement licences to enable birds to be moved to slaughter within the surveillance zone, and for hatcheries to move chicks to farms."

There is not yet any movement permitted from within the zones to the outside, although the status of movement licences is under continual review in light of developing understanding.

Bradnock added: "The actions taken so far by Defra and the poultry industry have been timely and proportionate, and it is vital to understand how the disease got into poultry.

"However, we must also consider how best to ensure the future livelihood of poultry farmers caught in the zones."

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