Magazine article Public Finance

Town Halls Brace Themselves for Bird Flu Outbreak

Magazine article Public Finance

Town Halls Brace Themselves for Bird Flu Outbreak

Article excerpt

Councils were on standby this week for the long-awaited outbreak of bird flu as the virus came closer to UK borders.

Preparations have been in hand since warnings began last year, with local authorities ensuring animal disease contingency plans are in place. Now, council leaders are trying to reassure the public after the disease was discovered in France.

Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart urged the public not to panic and reminded people that steps were being taken to protect them.

'From the countryside rangers on the south coast keeping an eye out for infected birds, to the inspectors at poultry markets, council stall'are keeping a continual eye on the situation,' he added.

North Yorkshire County Council formulated a poultry disease action plan in September. Animal health and welfare officer Andy Robson told Public Finance that lessons had been learned from the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak and that the council would not be caught unawares. …

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