asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will seek financial assistance from the European Union in the event that the avian flu outbreak causes serious damage to the poultry market.
In administrating a similar support regime last year, the EC made it clear that the assumption would be that no future use would be made of market support provision, and that industry would need to prepare itself for any similar market fluctuations in the future.
It has been the policy of successive UK Governments not to provide market support. Market impacts of animal disease are a risk carried by the industry. However, the Government seek to minimise that risk, particularly by encouraging wide public understanding of the issues and an evidence-based and proportionate response.