Government provides funding for avian influenza research

First published: 20 June 2022

Three free range chickens standing outside

NFU Poultry Board chair James Mottershead has welcomed the news that the government is funding research into avian influenza.

Eight scientific organisations have been tasked with finding new ways to contain avian influenza outbreaks, headed by the research team at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

It has received £1.5 million from the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has been tasked with developing new strategies to tackle future avian influenza outbreaks.

Government taking a positive step

James Mottershead, NFU Poultry Board chair, said: “After the largest AI outbreak the UK has ever seen this year, it’s good to see the government taking a positive step to help the industry tackle the disease in the future.

“AI has been devastating for so many poultry farmers across the country, causing great distress emotionally, mentally and financially for farming families. We want to work with the government to minimise the impacts of any future AI outbreaks so we do not experience another year like this one.”

Understanding and prevention

He went on to say: “There’s still a lot we don’t know about AI. Hopefully this research can help us understand more about the disease and how we can prevent it, and ultimately put bird keepers in a better position to protect their flocks.”

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