Challenges lay ahead for the UK poultry industry with more cases of avian influenza H5N1. Since the start of the bird flu season in late October, there have been 63 cases of avian influenza H5N1 in England alone compared to just 26 last year. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have also confirmed numerous outbreaks, which is the UK’s largest ever bird flu outbreak.
The UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss has urged keepers not to be complacent and to enact biosecurity measures to help stop the spread of bird flu. “We are seeing a growing number of bird flu cases both on commercial farms and in backyard birds right across the country,” she said.
Europe is fearing no better with avian influenza Since October, the virus has been detected 675 times in wild birds, and 534 outbreaks have been reported in domestic (backyard and commercial) animals. In addition, the virus has also been detected in mammals in several countries: in foxes in the Netherlands and Finland, in seals in Germany and Sweden, and in otters in Finland.
Dutch poultry organisation, Avined, also warns that the situation in Europe remains very tense. In recent days, outbreaks have been identified at a large layer farm in Veurne, Belgium, and at a turkey farm.
Costs are expected to remain high with higher labour, feed, transportation, and energy costs.
With economies reopening with lesser restrictions poultry demand is expected to grow.