File photo: Unwanted, dead or alive. This UK chicken cannot enter Barbados due to an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu in Britain.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–November 19th, 2020–Just when you thought things were bad, they just got worse, as Barbados today banned the import of all poultry products from the UK due to an outbreak of highly contagious bird flu called Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza at a chicken farm in Cheshire, England.

Whether this will have any effect on this year’s supply of Christmas turkeys remains to be seen.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, through its Veterinary Services Unit, has advised that due to an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in the United Kingdom (UK), a temporary ban has been placed on the importation of all commercial imports of poultry, hatching eggs and fresh, frozen or chilled poultry products into Barbados.

An immediate ban has also been enforced on the importation of personal imports of live birds, feathers and foods containing poultry products.

According to Senior Veterinary Officer, Dr. Mark Trotman, commercial imports of cooked poultry products from the UK may continue provided that they are accompanied by an appropriate veterinary export health certificate.

The ban will remain in effect until further notice.

Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, Richard Griffiths, said:

“Immediate action has been taken to limit the risk of spread, including plans to cull the remaining poultry and captive birds at the farm. Bird keepers must remain vigilant and report any signs of the disease, whilst ensuring that good biosecurity is practiced onsite. We are working with Defra and are remaining vigilant on poultry sites to minimize the risk to the national flock.”

For those seeking more details about the UK Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, this YouTube video may be helpful.