AVA tests readiness to deal with bird flu outbreak

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) conducted its seventh emergency preparedness exercise to test operational readiness to deal with an outbreak of bird flu this morning.

Code-named "Exercise Gallus VII", the exercise involved staff from AVA and Soonly Food Processing which slaughters about 40,000 chickens daily.

Some 500 chickens were culled and disposed during the exercise which tested the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency response staff in four areas - the donning of personal protective equipment, culling and disposal, decontamination and incineration.

This is the first time the AVA is testing bird flu emergency preparedness contingency plans in a poultry slaughterhouse.