The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has introduced new regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring flock keepers to apply particular bio-security measures for poultry and other captive birds as a precautionary measure against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The new measures also put a ban on the assembly of birds.
These precautionary measures against avian influenza (bird flu) came into effect on 17 November 2021.
This initiative is being taken following confirmation of HPAI H5N1 in wild birds in a number of counties since early November.
These wild bird findings confirm that the avian influenza virus is currently circulating widely in the wild bird population in Ireland. This reservoir of infection in wildlife poses a risk to our poultry flocks and industry. There have not been any outbreaks in poultry flocks at this time.
These Regulations require specific biosecurity measures to be implemented by the keepers of all poultry (and other captive bird) flocks, irrespective of size, to help mitigate the risk of infection of their poultry from the virus and the implementation of additional enhanced biosecurity measures by flock-owners in respect of flocks of 500 birds or more.
Poultry flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, maintain strict biosecurity measures and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Regional Veterinary Office, even if they only have one or two birds.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the HPAI H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low.
Members of the public are advised not to handle sick or dead wild birds and to report any episodes of sick or dead wild birds to the Regional Veterinary Office or contact the DAFM disease hotline on 1850 200456.
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