North Shropshire’s MP stood up for local farmers by calling on the Government to do more to stop the spread of bird flu and provide fairer compensation.

Helen Morgan - who herself has kept chickens and worked for a poultry farm - highlighted how farmers are facing financial peril due to not being able to insure against avian influenza and receiving unfair compensation.

The Lib Dem MP followed the party’s rural spokesman Tim Farron in speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on the ongoing bird flu outbreak.

Mr Farron called for the compensation scheme to be revamped so that farmers are fairly paid for their losses and Ms Morgan highlighted how the difficulty getting insurance makes the financial hit far harder on poultry businesses.

Helen also urged the government to do more to prevent the disease from spreading.

Farmers are currently only given compensation for birds that are alive at the time of culling. This means that delays to culling, that are not the farmer’s fault, lead to farmers losing out on money for birds that die before the cull starts.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for these rules to be updated so that poultry farmers are given fairer compensation which can in turn be used to help them contain the spread of disease and protect their livelihoods.


Helen Morgan said: "Bird flu is a major threat to poultry farmers’ livelihoods and therefore it’s crucial that they are fairly compensated when their flocks are hit.

“This will help farmers invest in stopping the spread and protecting their businesses. The current scheme is outdated, unfair and unfit for the 21st century.

“The Government needs to update the rules and focus resources on preventing future outbreaks and protecting this crucial industry.”

Speaking during the Westminster Hall debate on avian influenza, Helen Morgan said: “As a representative of a constituency which has a large number of intensive poultry units, as someone who has kept a backyard flock and also been the financial controller of a poultry farm, I've seen first hand the difficulties faced when trying to house poultry.

“But, most importantly, the difficulties for the farming industry in trying to insure against avian influenza.

“It used to be possible to obtain insurance because it was an unlikely event, it was a peril that insurers would happily insure for you.

“Now it's almost impossible for them to get that insurance."