Farmers appeal to retailers 'to act responsibly' in pricing of poultry

This as an "extremely difficult and stressful" time for the poultry industry due to bird flu.
Farmers appeal to retailers 'to act responsibly' in pricing of poultry

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that with the measures in place to control the spread of bird flu, he is "very confident there will be no supply issue" with turkeys this festive season.

Farmers are appealing to retailers "to act responsibly" in their pricing of poultry.

Irish Farmers' Association poultry chair Nigel Sweetnam has described this as an "extremely difficult and stressful" time for the industry, with a second case of bird flu confirmed in a turkey flock in Co Monaghan in recent days.

Mr Sweetnam commended farmers, industry, and the National Disease Control Centre for their "tremendous efforts during this difficult season" where bird flu is a "massive threat to the sector".

“The massive effort and commitment shown by farmers and industry alike in maintaining the highest levels of biosecurity in an effort to stop the spread of avian influenza must be commended,” he said.

“It’s an extremely difficult and stressful time for all involved and we are cognisant of the mental pressures on farmers and those in the industry. 

"We would appeal to retailers to act responsibly in their pricing policy of poultry.” 

In addition, Mr Sweetnam emphasised that the risk of infection to humans is very low, "and there is no risk to humans associated with consumption of poultry meat or eggs".

The risk remains

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that with the measures in place to control the spread of bird flu, he is "very confident there will be no supply issue" with turkeys this festive season.

"Last year we had six cases in commercial flocks over the course of the season and there were six cases in Northern Ireland last year as well, so it is certainly possible we could see more cases," he told the Seanad. 

"This disease is highly infectious. That is why we have put in place the most secure measures possible and advice to farmers as to how to keep their flocks safe. 

"However, the risk remains, as we have seen with a second flock infected. 

"It is therefore crucial that, over the coming period, everyone takes every possible step. 

"The risk will remain but, working together, we will ensure there is no wider issue for the sector and no impact on the availability of turkeys for Christmas.

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