Control measures have been introduced in Northern Ireland following the suspicion of avian influenza (bird flu) at a premises in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has said today (Friday, February 4).

Northern Ireland’s chief veterinary officer, Robert Huey, has introduced a Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) (see map below) effective from 10:00a.m today to mitigate the possible onward spread of the disease.

While initial laboratory tests have been completed, samples have been sent to the National Reference Laboratory to confirm the strain and pathogenicity.

Should highly pathogenic avian influenza be confirmed, the TCZs will be revoked and a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone established.

Map showing the Temporary Control Zones

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ)  remains in place for the whole of Northern Ireland, which alongside Great Britain, is dealing with its largest-ever outbreak of the disease.

“As part of the AIPZ, bird keepers must follow strict biosecurity measures in order to prevent any further incursions,” said Minister Edwin Poots just over two-weeks ago, as he lifted – prior to this – the last local movement restrictions.

Foreshadowing, he said “the risk of avian influenza has not disappeared and we are certainly not out of the woods yet”.

All moves within any declared Temporary Control Zone (TCZ), Protection Zone (PZ) or Surveillance Zone (SZ) are also required to be licenced.

In Northern Ireland, highly pathogenic bird flu has previously been confirmed in the following areas:

  • Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone;
  • Broughshane, Co. Antrim;
  • Armagh, Co. Armagh;
  • Coagh, Co. Tyrone;
  • Ballinderry, Co. Derry;