warmwell.com

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060314/text/60314w09.htm#60314w09.html_spnew3

 

Avian Influenza

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the use of vaccination against H5N1 avian influenza in Hong Kong in 200203. [56674]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 7 March 2006]: My officials have examined and made assessments of the use of vaccination against H5N1 worldwide, including the outbreak in Hong Kong in 200203.

Vaccination was used successfully to help eliminate H5N1 in Hong Kong, and this has been well documented.

However, this experience cannot easily be translated to other countries. The poultry industry in Hong Kong is limited to only a few hundred farms with some backyard flocks. The small size of the territory and its animal health infrastructure meant that it was easier than normal to undertake the monitoring required when using such vaccines.

In this country, there is a broad consensus that preventive vaccination does not currently provide an effective and efficient means of controlling avian influenza and that good biosecurity followed by housing of birds is the best response to a heightened threat.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures would be followed in order to ban the import of poultry from a country which has cases of H5N1 avian influenza. [57252]

Mr. Bradshaw: If there is an outbreak of disease likely to present a risk to human or animal health, including highly pathogenic avian influenza, in a non-EU country, Community legislation allows appropriate safeguard action to be taken, which may include a ban on imports from all, or from parts, of the affected country. In the UK we implement the Community safeguard measures by the issue of a legal document called a Declaration that sets out the details of the ban or trade restrictions imposed. It is a criminal offence to import animals or products in contravention of the Declaration.

If a serious disease outbreak occurs in an EU member state, appropriate measures to contain the disease, as laid down in Community law, must be taken by the member state in which the outbreak occurs. It is also possible for additional safeguard measures to be introduced, as has been the case in respect of the recent H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in some member states.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to monitor the import of poultry meat from countries in which avian influenza is present. [57748]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 13 March 2006]: Imports of poultry meat from third countries affected by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza have been banned. HM Revenue and Customs has increased
 
14 Mar 2006 : Column 2077W
 
checks on passengers, freight and post from those countries, and other enforcement bodies remain vigilant.

Within the EU, it is the responsibility of the authorities in any member state where the disease has been confirmed to ensure that movement restrictions applying to specified zones around the outbreak are observed. Trade in poultry meat may still continue from areas of EU member states not affected by the disease. HM Revenue and Customs, along with the other enforcement bodies, are aware of the restrictions in place in other member states and have enhanced checks accordingly.

Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she has taken to ensure that the poultry industry cleans and disinfects all crates, containers and modules and other equipment before and after use to prevent the possible spread of avian influenza. [57749]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 13 March 2006]: Under the Transport of Animals (Cleansing and Disinfection) (England) (No.3) Order 2003 any means of transport used to transport animals, including detachable parts such as crates and containers used to transport birds, must be cleansed and disinfected within 24 hours after use or before they are used again. This is enforced by local authorities.

Defra has issued extensive guidance to all bird keepers encouraging them to adopt effective biosecurity measures. These are also outlined on the Defra website. A list of approved veterinary disinfectants is available from: <http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/control/testing_disinfectants.htm

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent representations she has received about the protection from avian influenza of endangered species kept in zoos; and if she will make a statement; [55046]

(2) what recent representations she has received from rare breed poultry keepers and hobby farmers on the vaccination of birds; and if she will make a statement. [55064]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have received a wide range of representations and are working closely with stakeholders on these issues. Defra is considering a preventive vaccination programme for zoo birds and rare breeds in the UK for conservation purposes. This will be based on a scientific and veterinary risk assessment. If we decide to implement such a programme, it will require prior approval from the Commission.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proposals for (a) compensation and (b) aid are being considered by the Government should the slaughter of UK poultry be necessary if avian influenza affects the UK poultry sector. [56079]

Mr. Bradshaw: We would pay compensation for healthy birds compulsorily slaughtered to control avian influenza. If needed, we would also establish a Welfare Disposal Scheme to fund the collection and disposal of poultry.
 
14 Mar 2006 : Column 2078W
 

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department is carrying out on products which may be able to destroy the H5N1 virus. [57575]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department is not currently funding any research projects into the development of products that may be able to destroy the H5N1 (Avian Influenza) virus.

A list of veterinary disinfectants approved for use in England is available on the Office of Public Sector Information website at:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051908.htm

Dilutions for use against Avian Influenza (AI) are included.

A statutory mechanism is in place which allows veterinary disinfectants to be placed on the approved list if they demonstrate efficacy in statutory laboratory testing.