Consultation on avian influenza and Newcastle disease control protocol
1. The proposed powers are likely to be exercised in emergency and on a very large scale, given the size of many poultry enterprises in the UK; further, they will apply to a variety of species.
2. Our insistence that all handlers of livestock and owners of farming enterprises must be appropriately trained, licensed and insured against the risks of epidemic diseases would include provision for on-site execution of clearance (depopulation) and culling without infringement of the general principles laid down (and under improvement) by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
3. Means of “humane” killing must be provided, inspected and policed for use under the supervision of a designated vet.
4. Neck-wringing (“pulling”) cannot be relied on as a means of achieving instantaneous loss of sentience and continuous insensibility until death supervenes. Development is required of reliable equipment for practice on-site.
5. Provision must also be made for suitable storage on-site and transport of culled birds, as well as of segregated disposal.
Dr. Alan Long
Hon Research Adviser