Highlands & Islands MSP Emma Roddick has welcomed new guidance for bird keepers on preventing the spread of avian influenza.
Ms Roddick asked the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, to provide detail on methods identified to help protect poultry from the recent outbreak of avian influenza.
In response, Ms Gougeon assured the chamber that the government was keeping the outbreak in Scotland under constant review, and also expressed that guidance had been developed with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government to aid bird keepers in preventing the spread.
Ms Roddick said:
“It is reassuring to hear that avian influenza is being kept under close review by the Scottish Government. Decisions at this time are not taken lightly and are based on facts and evidence.
“This is a worrying time for poultry farmers across Scotland, particularly in my region, where flocks on the Isle of Lewis, and the Orkney islands have already been affected, so we must respond in the right way.
“The Scottish Government’s public guidance on biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts alongside its avian influenza zone self-assessment checklist are a clear demonstration of how it is working hard to prevent further outbreaks.”
Scottish Government guidance on avian influenza can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/