NFU Cymru is once again hosting its annual Poultry Conference where along with these biosecurity tips, members can hear more about the ongoing issues throughout the meat and egg sector, writes NFU Cymru Poultry Chairman Richard Williams.

The annual conference will take place at 6pm on Tuesday 27th February at the International Pavilion, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, kindly sponsored by Wynnstay. The event will feature a line-up of speakers providing expert insight and opinion to support poultry farmers in the running of their poultry meat or egg businesses. We are extremely fortunate to have secured Dr Richard Irvine, Chief Veterinary Officer, Wales to speak at the conference.

Given the varied challenges facing the sector, the NFU Cymru Poultry Conference comes at an opportune time to discuss these issues with our line-up of well-informed speakers who will be able to bring detail and informed analysis to our conversations. The last NFU Cymru Poultry Conference was extremely well attended, with farmers joining us from all over Wales, and I urge poultry farmers to join us again at this year’s event in order to make the most of the expertise available.

Anyone attending this year’s NFU Cymru Poultry Conference is asked to follow strict biosecurity guidance. Most notably, attendees are urged to ensure that vehicles are clean prior to arriving at the venue and that clothing and footwear worn on the evening has not been in the vicinity of a poultry shed.

Thankfully, Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks seem to be, so-far, under control this year, but farms need to have a plan in place to prevent occurrences of this devastating disease. We continue to repeat the important message that all poultry members must continue to practise enhanced biosecurity at all times and to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their flock.

Prevention is certainly better than the cure when it comes to disease control and I implore all farmers to adhere the key principles of keep it out, find it fast, stop it spreading and eradicate it. I would also ask members of the public who keep smaller flocks of birds such as chickens, geese and ducks to also follow Welsh Government’s biosecurity advice. All bird keepers – whether they be larger commercial businesses or those with small ‘backyard’ flocks - have an important part to play in reducing the risk of AI.

Anyone wishing to attend the NFU Cymru Poultry Conference on Tuesday, February 27 is asked to call the NFU Cymru office on 01982 554200, register on the NFU Cymru website or email [email protected].