Insight from our man in the sticks
As new members of our local Association de Aviculture, we are thinking of showing our Japanese bantam chickens this summer but have just been told that we would need to have them vaccinated (against ‘bird flu’ presumably) before we can. As we’re against unnecessary vaccination of any kind, what are your thoughts? Francesca Murray
The subject of routine vaccinations is a tricky one for some. It is, however, a situation most of us accept when it comes to immunising our children, pets and many forms of livestock. Showing poultry in France is an undoubtedly pleasurable experience from which one can learn a great deal. There is, though, an element of risk when poultry/chickens or indeed any livestock is brought from several places and put all under one roof. As I understand it, the mandatory vaccinating of chickens before being able to participate is, among other things, intended to lessen the risk of disease such as you mention (Avian Flu) and also Newcastle Disease – both of which are ‘notifiable’.
Vaccinated or not, it is always a sensible precaution to isolate any newly purchased birds from your existing flock for a few days before introducing them and to keep an eye out for any potential problems during that time. Likewise (and even though they have been vaccinated in order to compete), when bringing your own birds back from a show where they have been in contact with others.
Showing poultry in France may necessitate them being vaccinated