To date this year, twelve poultry flocks have been affected by low pathogenic Avian Influenza. I am acutely aware of the difficulties currently being faced by the affected poultry producers in this instance. I wish to assure you that my Department has been and will continue to engage with representatives of the poultry sector, to seek to ensure that the recent outbreak of low-pathogenic avian influenza is dealt with in a timely and effective manner.
With regard the development of a support scheme for impacted poultry producers, there is no legal basis for a mandatory compensation scheme under EU legislation in respect of the particular subtype of the disease identified in this case. However, my Department is exploring the potential to partially offset the costs of depopulation and rendering for those poultry farmers affected during the recent outbreak. Any such aid would be subject to the normal State Aid rules.