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News round-up / Petrol station upgrade, bird flu warning, more vehicle charging points, Rotary visit, gin export success

AS POULTRY owners across the country are being advised to take steps to reduce the risk of avian flu this winter, Shetland Islands Council’s (SIC) environmental health department has highlighted the risk of bird flu in Shetland.

Chief veterinary officers across the UK are encouraging anyone who keeps poultry to take some simple steps to protect their birds in the coming months.

SIC environmental health officer Ian Taylor added: “Avian flu is a threat to all poultry and as we regularly see wild bird species in Shetland – especially waterfowl such as geese, swans and ducks – there is a risk of avian flu here too.

“Anyone who keeps domestic poultry, even in small numbers, should act now to reduce the risk of transmission of avian flu to their birds.

“This includes keeping them separate from wild birds wherever possible and taking some simple biosecurity steps such as regular cleaning and disinfection.”

The UK is currently free from avian influenza. The last outbreak in poultry in the UK was in June 2017.

SOUND Service Station is planning to install an additional fuel pump at its petrol station on Lerwick’s South Road, as well as enlarge the existing canopy.

The company also intends to increase the height of the fence on the premises’ south border.

Discussing the planning application at Monday’s meeting of Lerwick Community Council, members expressed their support for the development but also voiced some concern about the flow of traffic within the site once the third fuel pump is operational.

MORE electric vehicle charging points could be coming to Lerwick if plans get the go-ahead.

Shetland Islands Council has submitted a planning application for a charging point in the car park at the back of the Town Hall where it would be utilised for charging electric vans used by the building’s stewards, while it would also be open for any building users with electric vehicles.

NHS Shetland has also lodged plans for a charging point at the rear of Lerwick Health Centre to be used for its fleet of electric vehicles.

There are a number of electric vehicle charging points open to the public across Shetland, from Unst to Dunrossness.

Shetland Rotary Club president David Anderson exchanging souvenirs with President Raewyn Bourne of The Rotary Club of Rotorua West.

SHETLAND Rotary Club has maintained its close contact with Rotary Club of Rotorua West in New Zealand after its president Raewyn Bourne visited the isles to attend a number of Shetland Wool Week events.

While in Shetland, Bourne took the opportunity to meet rotarians in the isles including local president David Anderson.

It was this the second time this year the two Rotary clubs had visited each other. In February Shetland rotarians Robbie and Mary McGregor attended a meeting of the Rotary club of Rotorua while visiting family in Hamurana near Rotorua.

SHETLAND Distillery is adding to the number of export countries with a handful of recent orders. 

In previous years exports of Shetland Reel gin have included Germany, Austria, Belgium, Japan and South Africa, but the Caymen Islands, Switzerland, Sweden, British Columbia and Alberta and the USA have been added to the list.

The company’s business development director James Robertson said: “We have focussed on developing relationships with a number of potential importers, and the hard work is now paying off.

“We have top quality gins with the unique selling point of being the only gin from Shetland, and in the crowded gin market, our iconic coloured bottles and branding attract attention, particularly from overseas.”