chicken-and-egg - page 17

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
While we’re hopeful Avian Influenza (AI)
won’t return to our shores this year, we want
you to be fully prepared if it does. That’s why
the BHWT teamed up with Defra and other
organisations to produce a poster containing
helpful biosecurity tips for chicken keepers.
We recently caught up with the UK’s Chief
Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, and put
your questions to him about AI:
Q. A small backyard flock diagnosed with
AI dies rapidly, so how exactly does an
infected backyard flock impact on the
commercial sector and what evidence is
there to show that an infected backyard
flock can spread into the wild bird
population? And vice versa?
A. While bird flu can cause birds to die very
quickly, it will depend on the level of contact
An interview with Defra
Nigel Gibbens, the UK’s
Chief Veterinary Officer
between the individual birds, the strain of
virus and the species of poultry present. For
most strains of bird flu, ducks and geese
tend not to show signs of sickness whereas
groups of turkeys and chickens often die
very quickly. Wild birds can act as bridging
species and spread disease between
backyard flocks and commercial premises.
The impact on the commercial sector is not
necessarily about disease spread but the
movement and trade restrictions we have
to impose when bird flu is confirmed. Any
outbreak, whether in a large commercial
producer or a small backyard flock, causes
the same restrictions on poultry movement
and trade, which can have a serious impact
on those who rely on poultry trade for their
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