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Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1526W, on birds, whether Essex county council has concluded its investigation into Pegasus Birds; and if he will make a statement. (79488)

The investigation was completed in April 2006. The investigating officer's report concluded that, despite procedural irregularities at the facility, the quarantine procedures for imported birds worked, and avian influenza was successfully detected. Following recommendations from the investigation, both the director and manager of Pegasus Birds received written cautions.

Both DEFRA and Essex Trading Standards learnt from the experience. DEFRA commissioned an independent review of avian quarantine for captive birds, which was published on 15 December 2005. The Government response to the review is available on the DEFRA website: