The Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has introduced disease control measures in Co. Fermanagh following confirmation of avian influenza (bird flu) on a premises in the Republic of Ireland, close to the Fermanagh border, yesterday (Sunday, November 13).

The premises, which is between counties Monaghan and Fermanagh, tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the disease in a commercial turkey flock.

Following confirmation of the outbreak, the chief veterinary officer for Northern Ireland, Robert Huey, said: “Disease control zones have therefore been declared in that part of Northern Ireland which lies within 10km of the infected premises from 5:30p.m Sunday, November 13, 2022.

“Premises within the zones will have to adhere to strict biosecurity protocols, recording movements on/off holdings and a requirement to seek licensing for any movement of poultry or poultry-related products into or out of the zone.

“Certain moves will be permitted under a specific license issued by the department which must be applied for at least 48 hours in advance of any planned move.”

Huey encouraged all flock keepers to take action and improve biosecurity to prevent an incursion of the disease into poultry flocks in Northern Ireland.

“If avian influenza were to enter our Northern Ireland flock, it would have a devastating impact on our poultry industry, international trade and the wider economy,” he said.

“In addition, the negative financial and emotional impact on the individual farm family and business is something we have seen all too often with disease incursions and we must do everything we can to avoid this, particularly at this time of heightened risk.

“This incursion of H5N1 into a flock in Co. Monaghan must serve as a stark reminder that avian influenza is already present here.

“Officials will continue to work closely with poultry keepers and the wider industry as we work together to minimise the risk of any further incursions.”