Chicken Industry

Research to help understand bird flu

A major new research project has been launched in Britain to help scientists understand more about bird flu (avian influenza) and how to combat it.

Poultry World reports that the research consortium has a year-long, £1.5 million funding package to develop new strategies to tackle future bird flu outbreaks.

It is headed by the UK government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, and includes scientists from eight universities and institutes. Britain and European countries have been badly hit by bird flu this year.

Christine Middlemiss, UK chief veterinary officer, said: “This new consortium will allow us to combine our expertise at a national level to increase the speed and quality of our research, ensuring we can develop new strategies to aid our efforts against this insidious disease and hopefully in time reduce the impact on the poultry sector.”

Bird flu is a global problem, and there will be international interest in the outcome of this research.

Image: A CDC scientist harvesting the H7N9 virus for research purposes. Image courtesy of the CDC.