The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has lifted the legal requirement for specific biosecurity measures to mitigate the spread of avian influenza (bird flu).

Under the regulations, introduced on September 19, 2022, the owners of flocks of 500 birds or more had to implement further enhanced biosecurity measures.

The move followed a spike in cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 subtype of the disease among wild sea birds.


The department said that the decision to remove the measures is based on a reduced risk of bird flu.

No case of the disease has been confirmed in wild birds in Ireland for over six weeks.

The reduced numbers of migratory waterfowl and increasing environmental temperatures and daylight hours have also lessened the risk posed by the virus.

DAFM has reminded all poultry owners, including those who keep only one or two birds, of their legal obligation to register their premises with the department.

Bird flu

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) confirmed this week that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) currently in force across the six counties will be lifted at midnight tonight.

The department also announced that the ban on poultry gatherings will also be lifted.

The measures were introduced on October 17, 2022, and included a range of compulsory biosecurity measures on poultry flocks.

The department’s chief veterinary officer (CVO), Robert Huey, said that the lifting of disease control measures has been made possible by the “determined efforts” of Northern Ireland’s poultry sector.

“I’m sure this will be welcome news for the sector which contributes greatly to our economy and wider society.

“Although all mandatory restrictions have now been lifted, the biosecurity requirements set out for the AIPZ should still be considered good practice,” he said.