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Scots turkey farm closes due to bird flu concerns

Gartmorn farm in Alloa made the decision to close due to the ongoing bird flu endemic.

Published: January 11, 2022

The team behind the free range poultry farm made the announcement this week and shared a statement on their social media.

The farm's location and lack of seasonal staff along with the bird flu outbreak have meant that the owners have made the 'difficult decision' to close their turkey business.

They wrote: "This year, yet again, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding our business so the following message comes with a heavy heart.

"As you may be aware, avian influenza is endemic throughout the UK and Europe (and probably the rest of the world.)

"Last year we were advised by our vets that rearing free range poultry next to a nature reserve was not advisable, and despite avoiding it year on year, it is becoming an increasing risk.

"With this, the lack of seasonal staff that we require, and our maturing years, we feel that it is finally time to draw our turkey business to a close.

"We are very proud of what we have achieved over the years at Gartmorn Farm Poultry, and we thank you all sincerely for your customer and loyalty over the many years we have been running.

"We are sorry that it has come to an end for us but we wish you all the very best for the future."

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As reported late last year, the UK is currently experiencing what has been called “the largest ever outbreak of avian influenza”.

Avian flu, also called bird flu, is an infectious disease that spreads among birds. Some strains of avian flu can affect humans as well as birds, although the majority don’t.

So far, cases of avian flu have been found at three different premises around Scotland.

These are near Annan in Dumfries and Galloway on December 9 , near Gretna in Dumfries and Galloway on December 3, and at a premises near Arbroath, Angus, on November 4.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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