Industry to hold Avian Influenza meetings across the UK


With three cases of Avian Influenza (AI) in the UK over the past nine months, AI is the single biggest threat to the UK and global poultry industry. The UK Poultry Health and Welfare Group (PHWG) will be holding several informative events across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to help poultry farmers be prepared in the event of an outbreak.

The topics covered will be areas such as biosecurity, early reporting of disease, Government compensation, requirements of secondary cleaning and disinfection to restocking and a return to country freedom from AI, as well as contingency planning for exotic notifiable disease outbreak on farm and consequential losses incurred as a direct/indirect result of an outbreak.

Please register your interest for an event in your region HERE

Region  Venue Date
Scotland Scottish National HeritageBattleby House, Perth PH1 3EW


6th November
East Anglia NFU East Anglia Regional Office, Agriculture House, Willie Snaith Road,Newmarket, Suffolk. CB8 7SN 9th November
Lincolnshire Wydham GardenToll Bar Road




NG32 2HT


10th November
North England NFU North East Regional Office, Agriculture House207 Tadcaster Road

York YO24 1UD

11th November
Northern Ireland Greenmount College, 22 Greenmount Rd, Antrim, County Antrim BT41 4PU 27th November
South West NFUAgriculture House

Pynes Hill, Rydon Lane

Exeter, EX2 5ST


1st December
South West Midlands The Feathers Hotel25 High Street, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1DS


3rd December
West Midlands/North&Central Wales Albright Hussey Hotel, Broad Oak, Ellesmere Rd, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 3AF 4th December
South East Bridge House Hotel, Reigate Hill, Reigate, Surrey RH2 9RP  9th December
North West Brantwood Hotel




CA11 0EP

16th December

Norfolk to host annual goose walk


untitledBritish Goose producers from all over the country will be congregating in Norfolk on Thursday October 15 for the annual farm walk of British Goose Producers. The event begins with a welcome at 11.00am and ‘goose walk’ with a discussion on topical issues during the afternoon.


This year’s host is Steve Childerhouse of Great Grove Poultry whose family farm at Caston, near Attleborough, is on the edge of Norfolk Breckland, the traditional home of geese in the UK.


The Childerhouse family moved to Whews Farm after their original holding in Breckland was repossessed in the early 1940s to become a military training area during the Second World War. They began keeping poultry about 20 years ago when four geese were reared in the farm meadow.


“We placed a sign for ‘plucked geese’ at the top of the farm drive and the birds sold quickly,” recalls Steve Childerhouse. “The following year we raised eight geese and 20 turkeys and the business expanded to where it is today – we now sell around 9000 turkeys and 800 geese at Christmas.”


You will find Whews Farm signed from the B1077 Attleborough – Watton road at Caston NR17 1BS.  

For further information, please contact:

Roger Ranson             01508 536041 BHR Communications

Laura Stearman          07540 501173 British Poultry Council


FSA release final report on retail survey


The FSA today published their full report on the 12 month survey of campylobacter levels on fresh whole chicken at retail. The survey measured levels across the major retailers across the UK finding an average of 19% of samples in the highest category. The joint processor, retailer, and FSA approach is making progress to ensure a continued reduction is achieved. 


John Reed, Chairman of the British Poultry Council said, “The FSA retail survey came out of a programme of work put together by the joint industry working group six years ago. This group was focused on developing a reduction strategy using scientific evidence from industry-led projects and now, as the ACT Board, we are in the delivery phase of these initiatives. BPC fully supports the work of this group and we will continue to share best practice and guidance.” 


The ACT Board was formed earlier this year and is chaired by Richard MacDonald. He said, “the industry has taken a very proactive approach to what is a very complex bacteria. There’s still a need for continued research, but we recognised that we had to move into a delivery phase on initiatives that indicated even a marginal effect on levels. The data from the survey is now historical and since it was conducted more new technologies have been introduced. We are confident that processors, retailers, and regulators can continue to improve and maintain a reduction in levels.” 

Revive tradition by eating British Goose at Michaelmas


We’re fast approaching Michaelmas, which marks the start of the farming year and a traditional time to eat goose.  A new website was launched today for the British Goose Producers (BGP), a sector group of the British Poultry Council (BPC). You can use the website to find your local goose producer and some delicious recipes to try here.

untitledGateway for advice

Many of today’s successful British goose producers began their own operations on a very small scale and the BGP is an effective gateway for help and advice.

Members of the BGP attend meetings, seminars and farm walks, and gain access to useful facts about starting up in goose production, sourcing goslings and marketing oven-ready product.

Wider benefits

As a sector group of the BPC, members of BGP enjoy wider benefits including being kept up to date with important information on UK legislation, regulations, codes of practice and guidance covering topics such as animal health and welfare, food safety, marketing and environmental protection.

For more information on BGP membership, please email

Defra lift restrictions on Preston Surveillance Zone


As there have been no new confirmed cases of HPAI H7N7, Defra have lifted the restrictions on the areas surrounding the affected site near Preston. Restrictions remain in force on poultry meat produced in the former Protection Zone before it was lifted.

The British Poultry Council, British Egg Industry Council, and the International Meat Traders Association are continuing to work closely with Defra to minimise the impact on trade.

Click here for more information and guidance on how to minimise the risk of infection.



British Poultry Council welcomes new starter


British Poultry Council welcomes new starter

Laura Stearman has recently joined the team at BPC as Public Affairs Manager.


She said, “I’m thrilled to be working with the team at BPC. The poultry industry is such a progressive and exciting sector and I’m looking forward to supporting the industry in gainingLS Westminster wider recognition for its achievements in key areas like employment, health and welfare and sustainable food production.”

Laura has worked in the agri-food industry for a number of years working across sectors. She spent almost two years on the trainee scheme at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) working on a number of issues such as employment, bTB and campylobacter. Laura led on the NFU’s campylobacter project organising the NFU conference in 2014 and worked as Agriculture Technical Manager for Banham Poultry in Norfolk for almost a year before moving to BPC.

Defra Issue Notification of Regionalisation


Acting with cross-sector support Defra have issued a notification of regionalisation in respect to the recent avian influenza outbreak in Lancashire. The notification document can be viewed here.

The document will be of use to inform third countries of the current AI situation and to facilitate the re-opening of export markets, which is crucial to UK producers. The British Poultry Council, British Egg Industry Council, and the International Meat Traders Association have been working closely with Defra to minimise the impact on trade. 

Avian Influenza Confirmed on an Egg-laying Farm in Lancashire


A case of H7N7 avian flu has now been confirmed near Preston, Lancashire. A temporary control zone imposed on Friday at the affected farm has now been replaced by a 10 kilometre surveillance zone and an inner 3 kilometre protection zone. All further information can be found on the Defra website:

Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, said: “Action is being taken to contain the Avian Influenza and to prevent any possible spread. We are monitoring the situation closely. As ever, poultry farmers are urged to maintain high vigilance and bio-security.”

About avian influenza

Avian influenza is a virus that causes disease in birds. Poultry, pigeons and wild or migratory birds, such as ducks, swans, and geese, can become infected with the virus. There are two forms of the virus: high pathogenicity (HPAI) and low pathogenicity (LPAI). Pathogenicity indicates the severity of the disease if the bird contracts the virus.

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) is usually less serious. It can cause mild breathing problems, but affected birds will not always show clear signs of infection. The severity of LPAI depends on the type of bird and whether it has any other illnesses.

British Poultry Industry Continues Strong Growth in 2014


The BPC has released its latest Annual Report, which can be viewed here.

The British poultry meat industry’s contribution to UK GDP has increased by 9% over the last year, up from £3.3bn to £3.6bn, according to a new analysis by Oxford Economics.

‘Economic Impact of the British Poultry Meat Industry 2015’, commissioned by the British Poultry Council and published on their website today, tracks the growth of the industry over the past year. Compared to last year, UK sales have increased in value by 13%, up from £6.1bn to £6.9bn, with exports also up 6.6% from £286m to £305m.

The increase in production is good news for UK plc. Contribution to UK GDP is up, and tax receipts are up by 10%, £1.1bn compared to £1bn. The number of jobs the industry supports has also increased by more than 8%. The industry now employs 79,300, compared to just 73,200 a year ago, both directly and through its wider supply chain.

Commenting on the launch of the report, BPC Chief Executive Andrew Large said:

“Our annual report is a timely reminder of the importance of the poultry meat industry to UK plc, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and contributing £ billions to UK GDP. We are delighted the industry keeps going from strength to strength.

“There are significant opportunities in both domestic and export markets and we look forward to working with government to realise these potential opportunities. Key to catering to this demand will be the industry’s ability to upgrade its capital assets. That’s why we have written to the Chancellor and asked him to consider maintaining the annual capital investment allowance in plant and machinery at its current level as part of his Summer Budget next week. We appreciate there are many demands on public finances, but this would make a huge difference to the industry and help it increase it’s contribution to UK GDP in future”.

FSA Retail Survey – 4th quarter results


The FSA has released the fourth quarter of results from its retail survey of campylobacter in whole chicken. The cumulative results for the four quarters shows that the overall incidence of campylobacter in whole chicken stands at 73%, with contamination in the highest category being at 19.4%. For full details of the survey results please see the FSA website.

The BPC and its members remain committed to reducing campylobacter in chicken as a top priority, and we are active in the ACT Board chaired by former NFU Director General Richard MacDonald. This group is facilitating the adoption of interventions throughout the supply chain.

Campylobacter is a naturally occurring bacteria and our knowledge and understanding of this complex bug is increasing quickly through dedicated research and practical trials of interventions.

As highlighted by the FSA, individual producers and their retail customers are working bilaterally to trial options including enhanced biosecurity, management of thinning, improved processing, temperature treatments, and novel packaging. It is worth reiterating that campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking and cross contamination can easily be avoided by good kitchen hygiene practices.

The BPC is committed to ensuring that when practical and effective solutions for beating campylobacter are developed they will be made available to all producers.

Consumers can follow progress in tackling the bacterium on the Campylobacter website:


Media contact

For more information call Ailsa Logan on 0207 400 4480 or email

Notes to Editors

  1. About the Campylobacter website

The Joint Working Group on Campylobacter launched on 26 November 2014 It has been designed by the group to provide consumers information on campylobacter, the work being undertaken to understand the bacterium, steps being taken and the progress in tackling it in the UK. As a central resource, it also has information on the role consumers can play in tackling the bug at home – like any bacteria, campylobacter is killed by proper cooking and good kitchen hygiene should always be followed when handling any meat.

  1. About the British Poultry Council

The British Poultry Council is the leading representative organisation for companies and individuals engaged in breeding, hatching, rearing and processing chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese to produce poultry meat. BPC members are responsible for producing over 90% of the UK’s total output of poultry meat, which included just over 900 million chicken broilers in 2014 (up from just over 780 million in 2001). Based on sales of £6.1 billion in 2012, the poultry meat industry made a £3.3 billion gross value added contribution to UK GDP. The industry supports 73,200 jobs in the UK – 35,400 direct, 25,100 in the supply chain and 12,800 in wage consumption). By weight, poultry makes up around half of all meat purchased in the UK.