IFA Poultry Chairman Andy Boylan has welcomed the introduction of a Department of Agriculture financial support scheme for the 14 flock owners who suffered total flock loss due to low pathogenic avian Influenza (LPAI) commonly to as Bird Flu, in the past four months.
These farms are all located the Monaghan region, the heartland of Irish poultry production. They will qualify under the ‘De Minimus’ aid scheme.
Following an IFA submission made to the Department of Agriculture seeking financial assistance, and extensive lobbying by many IFA members, particularly in the Cavan/Monaghan region, the Department of Agriculture have introduced a ‘De Minimus’ scheme for the 14 farms affected.
The scheme is only open to farms affected up until 1st July. A payment of €20,000 will be made available to all successful applicants to the scheme, totalling €280,000.
“While this will not cover the losses that any poultry farmer incurred due to LPAI infection on their farms, it will go some way towards the costs incurred during the cull and disinfection process. The supports are welcome and all stakeholders must continue the ongoing dialogue in an effort to tackle such diseases in the sector,” he said.
This strain of Avian Infleunza was a low pathogen type, which carries zero risk to human health and is not notifiable, meaning there is no onus on the farmer to cull the flock, and no requirement for Government or EU compensation.
The realities of LPAI disease means that production losses, and the high risk of infection spreading to neighbouring farms is so great, that the only viable solution is to completely cull infected flocks and disinfect the premises.
Andy Boylan paid tribute to everybody in the poultry industry, which rallied at the onset of this disease threat in February and created a fund to provide assistance to the flock owners. Without this financial support from poultry processors, egg packers, feed millers, broiler growers and other industry stakeholders, there could have been many more than 14 flocks affected by LPAI.
Andy Boylan reminded all poultry farmers to maintain the highest standards of bio-security on their poultry farms.