Department: Bird flu now confirmed in 3 counties

Avian influenza (bird flu) has now been found in three wild birds in different counties around the country, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed.

In a statement to AgriLand today (Wednesday, November 25), a spokesperson for the authority said:

“The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N8 in three wild birds in counties Limerick, Mayo and Monaghan.

The case in Limerick involved a peregrine falcon, the case in Mayo involved a curlew and the case in Monaghan involved a cygnet [mute swan].

“These individual wild bird findings serve as a reminder that the avian influenza virus is currently circulating in the wild bird population in Ireland.

“This poses a risk to our poultry flocks and industry. Increased biosecurity measures should be taken by poultry owners to help mitigate the risk of the virus in light of this fact.”

The department warned that these bird flu protection measures apply to all flocks, irrespective of size.

In particular flock owners should ensure that they feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water, the spokesperson added.

“Keep poultry separate from wild birds by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access.

“Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Regional Veterinary Office,” the department representative concluded.