The poultry conference being organised by the Ulster Farmers' Union and CAFRE is now taking place online, because of the restrictions from Avian Influenza. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) recently implemented a housing order which came into effect on Monday past November 2022.

The Northern Ireland (NI) poultry industry conference being held on Monday 5 December 2022.

UFU Deputy President John McLenaghan said, “Following DAERA’s housing measures which came into effect on Monday, the UFU and CAFRE made the decision to host the poultry conference online, minimising the spread of AI. There are many benefits of having a virtual conference as participant numbers aren’t limited by the venue’s capacity and there are no travel limitations. Poultry producers will be able to enjoy the fantastic line up of speakers addressing key issues affecting poultry farmers in NI at present, from the comfort of their own home. For those who have already registered for the conference, a link will be sent via email to join online, you do not need to register again.”

The UFU says producers should implement heightened biosecurity protocols and remain vigilant for AI symptoms to safeguard the poultry industry. Recent outbreaks of AI have been reported in County Monaghan, with some of the surveillance zones extending into NI.

“It is vital that in response to this outbreak, all poultry and bird keepers across NI review and heighten their biosecurity where necessary to protect their farm business and the entire sector from infection. All birds should now be permanently housed including backyard flocks, in line with DAERA advice. This is a concerning situation for a key industry in NI and compliance with the rules by everyone, be they commercial or hobby keepers, is the only way to combat the spread of the disease,” said Mr McLenaghan.