Highly pathogenic bird flu confirmed in wild bird in Ireland

The Irish government’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed avian influenza H5N1 in a wild bird in the Republic of Ireland.

The highly pathogenic ‘bird flu’ was confirmed in a peregrine falcon in the west of the country.

The falcon was submitted to Limerick regional veterinary laboratory as part of the DAFM’s wild bird avian inlfuenza surveillance programme.

Avian flu in wild birds

Avian influenza H5N1 has been confirmed in wild birds, poultry and captive birds in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Poland and Denmark since mid-October.

Earlier today, Agriland reported that the chief veterinary officers for England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain.

Read about that here.

Last month, Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs issued a warning to poultry farmers after confirmation of a case of bird flu was confirmed in England.

It was discovered at a swan rescue centre in Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England.

In a statement this morning (Thursday, November 4) the DAFM said:

“We are currently in the high-risk period (October to April) for introduction of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) into Ireland from migratory wild birds returning to overwinter from areas where HPAI is widespread.

Wild birds act as main reservoirs of avian influenza viruses.”

The DAFM said it remains in close contact with industry stakeholders and reiterates that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks.

Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks and report any disease suspicion to their nearest DAFM veterinary office.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the HPAI H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, human infection is extremely rare and no human infections with this virus have been reported in Europe this year.

Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.