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Noble Foods launches bird flu insurance scheme

Noble Foods has launched a new poultry insurance scheme amid concerns that egg producers are inadequately protected against bird flu and salmonella.

The company has joined with NFU Mutual to create a dedicated insurance scheme for its producers. Noble Foods Agriculture Director Graham Atkinson said it was important to protect the overall business sustainability of producer partners: “Both avian influenza and salmonella can have a devastating impact on the livelihood of a producer who is not adequately protected, and our aim is to offer affordable insurance to our hardworking producer community.”

Noble Foods has launched a new poultry insurance scheme amid concerns that egg producers are inadequately protected against bird flu and salmonella. Photo: Bert Jansen
Noble Foods has launched a new poultry insurance scheme amid concerns that egg producers are inadequately protected against bird flu and salmonella. Photo: Bert Jansen

Mr Atkinson said farmers who already had insurance policies in place with the Mutual would be switched into the new scheme without incurring additional costs.

Lindsay Bray, NFU Mutual poultry specialist, said the policies would come into effect from 1 July.

The announcement is timely given the concerns that avian influenza is still at large in western Europe. Thousands of turkey and chickens were culled in Weert, Limburg on several poultry farms (22 May) following the discovery of H5 strain of bird flu at a turkey unit. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research confirmed that 13,000 turkeys were culled and 66,000 chickens on a neighbouring poultry farm were also killed. Movement restrictions are in force in an area that covers the Dutch/Belgian border.

Avian Influenza
Find out more about the causes and effects of AI and many other poultry diseases in the Poultry World health tool.

Meanwhile in France, the French Food and Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie has met with a number of industry representatives to assess the highly pathogenic HPAI situation in the country. Key areas of discussion were the payment of compensation for farmers and others affected by the past winter’s outbreaks. The French government has provided nearly 90m euros to compensate for economic losses – in addition to payments offered to farmers for culled birds.

Among the measures believes to be under consideration are analysing the impact and feasibility of vaccinating birds from 2022 and knowing in real time the number of poultry present on all farms.