Poultry catchers are being invited to submit tenders to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency to be part of a rapid response squad in the event of a serious disease outbreak.

Mandated by the EU Commission, the aim is to establish a so-called “framework agreement” which could be used in incidents of exotic animal disease, such as avian influenza.

AHVLA is seeking tenders from three groups:

  • Poultry catchers, who would be used on farm to catch and collect birds before placing them in industry standard modules
  • Animal handlers, who may be required to assist in catching and collecting other livestock for culling
  • Providers of “depopulation solutions”, covering any farmed animal in any number that the authority may need to kill

“This is the first time DEFRA has established a framework agreement for these services, and the support of the industry is greatly valued,” said a statement. “Tenders are welcomed from all who can meet the requirements specified, including small enterprises.”

Further information and tender forms are available from DEFRA