Ninth case of bird flu confirmed in Ireland

A ninth case of bird flu has been confirmed in Ireland by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

This latest case was identified in a whooper swan in The Sluggary, Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary. It is the second case to be identified in the area.

Last week, the Department confirmed two more cases of the disease, one in Cork and one in Tipperary. Bird flu was identified in a grey heron and mute swan, respectively.

While the Department does give the location of where the birds were found, it advises that this does not mean that the risk of introduction of the virus to poultry or other birds is confirmed to that immediate area.

Bird flu

Calls to change legislation

Last week, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, must look at the prospect of changing the legislation governing free-range or organic status for poultry as bird flu outbreaks continue, Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny has said.

Speaking in the Dail last week, the Sinn Fein Agriculture Spokesman said that the Minister must look at changing the legislation as after 12 weeks producers will lose their free-range or organic status.

Before Christmas, the Minister brought in regulations which meant that flock owners were required to confine all poultry and captive birds in their possession or under their control in a secure building to which wild birds, or other animals do not have access.

Deputy Kenny said he’s sure that everyone is aware of the situation in regard to Ireland’s poultry industry at the moment.

“There is an epidemic of bird flu at the moment and the issue that really comes to mind here, I think, is that there was an order that all commercial birds be kept indoors.

“Now that’s to protect them obviously from this situation. The difficulty that we come to is, that after 90 days under Irish legislation and European legislation, they lose their free-range status.”