The Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging all bird keepers to ensure they abide with current DARD regulations and register their flock.
UFU poultry chairman, Tom Forgrave, says that by law all bird keepers, including those who keep small backyard flocks, must sign up to the DARD Bird Register. “A key issue for our industry is the importance of ensuring all flocks of susceptible birds are identified and registered with DARD,” he said. “Bird keepers play a significant role in the control and spread of diseases such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Tackling these diseases becomes much more difficult if flocks exist that no one is officially aware of,” warned Mr Forgrave.
DARD already has a register of 2272 bird keepers with fewer than 50 birds and 2158 pigeon keepers. But the UFU wants all bird keepers to ensure they abide with DARD regulations and register. “By registering your birds with DARD’s veterinary service it will allow bird owners to be provided with information on biosecurity, and emergency advice if a disease outbreak threatens Northern Ireland,” said Mr Forgrave.
More information about this can be found on the DARD website at www.dardni.gov.uk