Government unveils new support for poultry sector hit by bird flu

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The Government has given more support to poultry producers
The Government has given more support to poultry producers

Related tags Poultry

The Government has unveiled new support for the poultry sector to assist farmers and producers with the impacts of bird flu.

The UK is dealing with its worst ever bird flu outbreak with over 200 cases confirmed across the country in the last 12 months.

Under the new plans, the Government will alter the existing bird flu compensation scheme allowing compensation to be paid to farmers from the outset of planned culling rather than at the end. 

Swifter payments

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said it would mean it would be able to provide swifter payments to help stem any cash flow pressures and give earlier certainty about entitlement to compensation. 

In consultation with the Food Standards Agency, an easement to marketing rules is also being introduced in England. The measures mean that farmers who breed turkeys, geese or ducks for their meat will have the option to slaughter their flocks early and to freeze these products, which can then be defrosted and sold to consumers between the period 28 November and 31 December 2022. 

Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “Farmers and poultry producers are facing real pressures as a result of this avian flu outbreak, and we know many are concerned about the impact on their flocks.

Practical solutions

"We hope the practical solutions announced today will help provide greater financial certainty. We very much appreciate the continued cooperation from the sector as we battle this insidious disease and will continue to keep the situation under close review." 

Last week, the Chief Veterinary Officer introduced a national Avian Influenza Prevention Zone meaning that bird keepers must implement strict biosecurity measures to safeguard their flocks from this highly infectious disease. In addition to this, a regional housing measure remains in place across Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex, where keepers must house their flocks until further notice.

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood

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