FSA Welcomes Progress on Campylobacter


The Food Standards Agency today welcomed the latest survey results of campylobacter in whole chickens at retail. The results show a significant improvement against the same period last year, with 15% of samples (22% in 2014) tested in the higher level of contamination of over 1000 cfu/g.

British Poultry Council Chairman, John Reed, said: “We are pleased to be seeing progress made after years of effort and the investment of tens of millions of pounds. There is still a lot of work to do but these results show that we are moving in the right direction.”

The BPC has been working closely with regulators and retailers since 2009 to better understand and combat the presence of campylobacter in chickens. This co-operative work is overseen by the Acting on Campylobacter Together (ACT) Board, with representatives from regulators, retailers, and processors.

ACT Board Chairman, Richard MacDonald, said: “Campylobacter remains a very complex bacterium that exists naturally in the environment. We have made great strides in our understanding and the interventions now available extend from farm to fork. We are confident that the creativity and innovation being brought to bear will drive further progress.”

For further detail and analysis please see the FSA website: www.food.gov.uk

PHWG launches Avian Influenza Roadshows


ai roadshow perth 1The UK Poultry Health and Welfare Group (PHWG) held the first of ten Avian Influenza (AI) roadshows yesterday in Perth, Scotland.

The meeting attracted over 100 delegates with poultry producers, Scottish Government, APHA, Local Authorities, SRUC, FSA Scotland and the Scotland CVO Sheila Voas.

Máire Burnett from the BPC said “the PHWG was formed in order to identify industry issues, focusing on health and welfare, and to take these issues forwards to policy and delivery. We recognised that we needed to raise awareness of AI amongst poultry farmers in order to ensure they are fully prepared in the event of an outbreak”

Scotland CVO Sheila Voas praised the PHWG for its initiative to host these meetings across the UK. “AI is an issue that affects us all, across all poultry species. These roadshows are a great opportunity to raise awareness to prepare poultry farmers and also to get to know their local APHA representatives”.

The group is made up of trade bodies representing all poultry species and was formed in 2012 to act as a unified voice for the British poultry sector (BPC, BEIC, NFU, GFA, BVPA).

*There is still space at some of the remaining roadshows, you can register interest here phwg

The meeting in Perth saw a variety of speakers, all with a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding AI.

Dr Barry Thorp from St Davids Poultry Team opened the presentations providing information on clinical signs of AI in a poultry flock and the importance of biosecurity in preventing and controlling outbreaks of notifiable diseases such as AI.


He said, “investment in biosecurity makes economic sense based on the risk assessment”. He urged producers to really think about their own situations and identify how they can protect their flocks with effective biosecurity.

Dr Michael Park, Veterinary Head of Exotics and Welfare for APHA Operations, presented in detail on APHA response on suspicion and confirmation of an AI outbreak.

He stressed the importance of all keepers of poultry to make sure they are on the Poultry Register, maintaining good biosecurity and the importance of keeping good records.

He said, “it’s vital that all keepers of poultry are registered so that we can ensure we minimise the risk and impact to businesses during an outbreak by being able to contact those in the affected protection and surveillance zones.

“The movement restrictions put in place while we conduct tracing operations and identify the source are applicable to every poultry premise in the zone – hatcheries, slaughterhouses, commercial sites and even backyard poultry.”

It’s not just the Infected Premise (IP) that is impacted when there is an outbreak of AI.

Businesses in the zones are also placed under restrictions and will require movement licences, and the knock-on impact on the ability for the UK to export poultry products can be substantial.

The three single outbreaks in the UK over the past 12 months is estimated to have cost the poultry meat industry in excess of £50million in lost exports and displaced products.

Dan Pearson, Veterinary Health Director at Aviagen (Europe) expanded on this during his presentation covering the impact of AI on the industry.

Pearson said, “There’s a constant risk of LPAI as it’s now endemic in the wild bird population. The cost of an outbreak both to individual businesses and to the UK as a whole can be a significant figure.

“While the IP faces the cost of secondary cleansing and disinfection, loss of birds and business interruptions, there’s also restrictions placed on the country under OIE regulations which affects the ability to export.”

It’s this impact to the industry as a whole and to individual businesses, that highlighted just how important it is for producers to develop a business contingency plan, exactly what producers would need to consider was covered in extensive detail by Daniel Dring from PD Hook.

Dring really stressed the need for businesses to consider what they would need if faced with an outbreak.

“it’s so important to build a contingency plan for your business. One of the issues that businesses can face is not knowing where their boundaries are – you need to know exactly where the boundaries lie. In the event of an outbreak, if a part of your premises is within a zone, you are also under restriction”

He also noted that “you shouldn’t underestimate the cost of an outbreak, it can be anywhere from £500,000 to £10million. You, as the producer, pick up the cost for secondary cleansing and disinfection and face not being able to operate for a significant period of time”,

The PHWG is developing a Standard Operating Procedure for secondary cleansing and disinfection looking at a number of scenarios and production methods.

The running theme throughout the meeting was the importance of effective biosecurity and, if the correct precautions are taken, the UK can continue to control the spread of exotic disease.

Useful links:





*Please note, the East Anglia, Lincolnshire and York events are now fully booked.


DEFRA publishes report into H7N7 outbreak


DEFRA have published the epidemiological report into the July outbreak of HPAI H7N7 in Lancashire.

This is likely to have resulted from an incursion of LPAI virus that then mutated to HPAI in the IP.

The outbreak was not related to the LPAI outbreak in broiler breeders in Hampshire.

There is still uncertainty as to the cause of the outbreak, however, there is evidence that it may have been as a results of indirect contact between wildfowl into one group of free range birds on site.

Read the epidemiological report here

Read the updated disease control strategy here

By enhancing and maintaining biosecurity standards on the farm, you will ensure that you take steps to protect your flock from disease and predation. All poultry keepers should be on DEFRA’s poultry register.

Tips from the British Poultry Council for free-range producers:

  • Keepers of commercial free-range flocks, irrespective of flock size, should not keep any other poultry of avian species as pets


  • Poultry should not be free to range among or near domestic water fowl, and reasonable steps should be taken to prevent contact with wild fowl


  • Free-range sites should have the capacity to house birds at night and for the duration of their planned crop cycle


  • Free-range producers should make provisions in their housing allowance period to house birds during November as a contingency in the event of a notifiable outbreak of Avian Influenza


  • Provisions should be made to clean and disinfect housing and any hard-standing on the site as well as people and equipment coming on to and leaving the site


  • Feeding abd watering areas should be protected from wild birds where possible


  • Perimeter fencing will help to protect your flock from predation and cross-contamination of disease from wild animals


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

All of the events are free to attend.

Registration is from 10:00am* with coffee and will commence at 10:30am.

Lunch is provided and the meetings will close at 15:30pm*

*West Midlands, Albright Hussey 11:00am coffee, 11:30am-16:30pm

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 RoadMarston



NG32 2HT


10th November
North England NFU North East Regional Office, Agriculture House207 Tadcaster RoadYork YO24 1UD 11th November
Northern Ireland Greenmount College, 22 Greenmount Rd, Antrim, County Antrim BT41 4PU 27th November
South West NFUAgriculture HousePynes 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 HotelStainton



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 info@britishpoultry.org.uk

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.