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THREAT OF JUDICIAL REVIEW OVER COUNCIL LICENCE FOR BIRD FAIR

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Stafford BC faces a possible judicial review of its decision to allow a bird fair to go ahead, despite the threat o...
Stafford BC faces a possible judicial review of its decision to allow a bird fair to go ahead, despite the threat of bird flu.

BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning reported that the fair, for the buying and selling of birds such as parrots, has been cleared to take place in March. The organisers say the health risks are low because only birds from other EU countries can be brought into the UK.

But Elaine Towland of the Animal Protection Agency, which lobbies against the trade in aminals, told the programme there was a real risk of disease spreading at events like this: 'bio security measures can have little effect when people are in such close proximity to the birds at markets. They're inhaling airborne droplets and they're close enough to touch the birds.'

Stafford BC issued a statement that it has issued a licence for the event under the Pet Animals Act 1951. 'This is required only because it is intended that birds will be sold at the event. This licence is not intended to deal with the risk of avian flu,' the council said.

'DEFRA issued regulations last year to control the risk of avian flu at all such events involving birds. DEFRA has since issued a general licence imposing conditions on events such as this. We understand DEFRA are aware of this event.'

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