Avian Influenza

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on whether poultry kept in a control area as pets or for a hobby and which have been vaccinated against H5N1 avian influenza should be culled. [55413]

Mr. Bradshaw: No birds in the UK have been vaccinated against avian influenza. Although vaccination offers potential disease control benefits, at the current level of risk, available vaccines are too limited to provide a fully effective or efficient solution.

In the event of an avian influenza outbreak, we would control the disease by culling all birds on any infected premises and dangerous contacts. Depending on veterinary risk assessment advice, additional strategies could include a cull of flocks in the immediate area to prevent the spread of disease. These arrangements are described in Defra's published Animal Disease Contingency Plan.