12 January 2023
Dunne hosts NFU Poultry Board meeting with Farming Minister

Philip Dunne welcomed the National Farmers' Union Poultry Board to Parliament for an event he hosted for their members to discuss current sector challenges with Members of Parliament.

Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP, Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, attended to meet Poultry Board members, where he engaged with producers present, including from Shropshire, Herefordshire, & Worcestershire.

The UK is currently experiencing its most severe outbreak of avian influenza with this notifiable disease affecting captive birds, poultry, and spreading through wild bird populations across the country.

Other pressures facing the poultry sector include unprecedented energy and feed costs and increases in other input costs including fuel, labour, pullets, and packaging.

The NFU is working with the government to ensure a viable British poultry sector, following introduction of mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds in England by the Chief Veterinary Officer, who recently attributed good biosecurity on poultry farms as a contributory factor to the current decreasing number of avian flu cases.

Mr Dunne said:

“These are very challenging times for all involved in poultry, from those who keep a few chickens at home to the commercial sector with its significant presence in South Shropshire. So I was pleased to have been able to help 25 MPs meet local producers from across the country who are members of the NFU Poultry Board to understand more about these issues, including the impact of avian flu and the compensation scheme, the critical importance of biosecurity measures and the risk to viability from feed and energy cost pressures.

“Farming Minister Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP made time to join the event and engage with farmers, including James Mottershead, chairman of the NFU Poultry Board and a South Shropshire farmer.

“The Government has already taken welcome steps to improve the compensation scheme for commercial poultry producers when a flock is infected, which has helped affected growers since the changes were introduced last autumn."


Photo: Philip Dunne & James Mottershead, NFU Poultry Board Chair