Sunday, December 11, 2005

News - Central register in bird flu battle | the Daily Mail

Poultry keepers must now list their birds on a central register as an avian flu control measure.

Commercial poultry owners with 50 birds or more have just under 12 weeks to sign up to the mandatory scheme. Failure to do so could result in a maximum fine of �5,000 or three months in prison, a Defra spokesman said.

The database will collate information for poultry keepers in Wales, Scotland and England. A separate register has been set up in Northern Ireland. It will also be used to improve Government contingency planning for a potential bird flu outbreak.

Defra minister Ben Bradshaw urged relevant bird owners to register as soon as possible. "The first central database would build up a picture of the size, type and proximity of commercial bird flocks.", he said.

"The information on this register will help us improve our contingency planning to help manage any potential disease outbreak.", he added.

Owners with 50 birds or more on a commercial poultry premises are required to sign up under the Avian Influenza (Preventive Measures) Regulations 2005.

Premises with fewer than 50 birds may register voluntarily after February 28.

National Farmers' Union poultry board chairman Charles Bournes said: "Commercial poultry keepers must register their birds at the earliest possible time to ensure our valuable industry is best placed to deal with any potential disease outbreak."

Premises where all poultry and their eggs are kept for the owners' consumption or as pets do not have to sign up. Relevant bird owners have until February 28 next year to register.

The full list of species that must be registered is as follows: chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, partridges, pheasants, quail, pigeons reared for meat only, cassowaries, emus, ostriches, rheas, kiwis.

Central register in bird flu battle | the Daily Mail

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