Farmers crucial to stopping flu spread

FARMERS are today being urged to ensure they have strict biological security measures in place following the outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

FARMERS are today being urged to ensure they have strict biological security measures in place following the outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

National Farmers Union spokesman Lee Woodger said: “We are urging members to make sure they do everything they can to ensure bio security measures are in place. But the poultry industry does have high levels of bio-security normally.

“Other than that it's wait and see for further news. We are hoping it doesn't spread further.”

Mr Woodger said he hoped the virus had been contained, but said plans were in place should it spread.

“There are three kilometre and 10kilometre zones set up around the farm involved. All free-range poultry will be locked away in secured sheds in that zone.

“All the farmers across the country have plans they have worked on with Defra which means that should it be necessary this can be done with poultry on a regional and national basis.”

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Mr Woodger said he didn't think the exclusion zones would pose a significant problem in the short term and said farmers would have to “work with the situation”.

He said: “In the short term there shouldn't be any significant problems although it will be a hindrance to have to work around the movement restrictions of birds.

“We hope it doesn't last too long. If it goes on for any elongated time it well start to affect farmers but we are not going to complain about it.

“We have to make sure it doesn't spread any further. We have to work with the situation. There is no point complaining about it.”