Department of Agriculture warning about new case of avian flu

The Department of Agriculture has introduced Disease Control Zones after another case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in County Fermanagh.

By Philip Bradfield
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 7:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 9:12 pm

A further case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been confirmed in a small, mixed species, backyard flock in Enniskillen.

Northern Ireland Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Robert Huey said: “Unfortunately we have confirmed another incursion of HPAI H5N1 in a small, mixed species, backyard flock in Enniskillen. As a precautionary measure, on 4 February, following initial laboratory results, I took the decision to introduce appropriate disease control measures, including the humane culling of the affected birds and the introduction of Temporary Control Zones (TCZs), to mitigate for onward disease spread. Following the confirmation of HPAI H5N1 from the National Reference Laboratory today, these TCZs have now been revoked and a 3 km Protection Zone (PZ) and 10 km Surveillance Zone (SZ) established around the infected premises.

“Although this is extremely disappointing it is not unexpected. It is a timely reminder that bird flu is still present in the environment and we must continue to be vigilant. We cannot afford to get complacent. This strain will use any gaps in biosecurity to gain access to a flock.”

A new case of avian flu has been found in Enniskillen.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots called for vigilence and action among birdkeepers.

“I am calling on all bird keepers, particularly those with small backyard flocks, to review their biosecurity practices,” he said. “Excellent biosecurity remains the most effective defence for reducing transmission of avian influenza to poultry or captive birds and it is vitally important that all bird keepers adhere to the strict enhanced biosecurity measures of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) which remains in place in Northern Ireland. As part of the measures of the AIPZ, bird keepers legally must keep their birds indoors or otherwise separate from wild birds, we cannot afford to be complacent so I would urge everyone to take all measures necessary.”

If you are a backyard flock keeper, tips on improving your biosecurity are available on the DAERA website at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/backyard-flocks. DAERA would also like to remind bird keepers that all birds are legally required to be registered unless they are kept inside your home. This can be done at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/bird-registration-form

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