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Biosecurity Advice & Information on Exotic Diseases

As you will be aware, there is currently a severe epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry in Asia. This epidemic highlights the very real risk of introduction of exotic diseases, such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, especially from wild birds such as pigeons and waterfowl.

You can protect your flock against Newcastle disease by vaccination. The Department recommends that all laying birds are vaccinated. Broilers and other fattening birds may also be vaccinated, depending on the disease situation that prevails. Your veterinary practitioner will be able to advise you on this.

In addition there are a number of routine precautions that can be taken to protect poultry flocks against the introduction of any diseases - not just Newcastle disease and avian influenza. Please read the attached advice leaflet on "Biosecurity Advice for Flockowners" (pdf 8,564Kb)  carefully. It is recommended that you display the leaflet in a prominent position in your poultry house.

Early detection of these diseases is vital in the control of exotic disease, to ensure that measures are put in place quickly to prevent further spread. The second leaflet attached, "Symptoms of Exotic Poultry Diseases" (doc 59Kb) , details some of the common signs that may be seen in birds affected with Newcastle disease or avian influenza. You should also display this leaflet in a prominent position in your poultry house. As the symptoms described may be seen in a variety of other diseases, it is important that you consult your veterinary practitioner if you notice anything unusual in your flock.

Remember you are the first line of defence against these diseases:

  • Keep disease out
  • Report any health problems in your flock promptly