The culling of 3,800 turkeys at a poultry farm near Clones in Co. Monaghan will begin early tomorrow morning (Tuesday, November 15) it has been confirmed.

Representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have indicated that the culling process will begin at 7.30a.m on the premises where avian influenza (bird flu) was detected.

The entire flock of turkeys is scheduled to be culled following confirmation of bird flu at the farm yesterday (Sunday, November 13).

Speaking at the poultry farm in Co. Monaghan today (Monday, November 14) the department representatives said that culling will take place on site, before the birds are removed in lorries.

Preparation for the process began early this morning and continued throughout the day.

A number of vehicles and personnel also visited the property to put additional bio-security measures in place including rolls of carpets which were laid across the entrance to the infected premises and soaked with disinfectant.

Speaking to Agriland in Co. Monaghan today, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) regional president for Ulster and north Leinster, Frank Brady, said that he believes wild birds are responsible for introducing the disease to commercial farms.

“It’s coming from wild birds this year. This particular turkey farm is near to a lake, so that’s possibly where it came from.

“There may also have been contamination from wild birds flying over and back. But, we just have to be extra vigilant now to try and ensure that no other farm is affected,” he said.

A 3km protection zone has been introduced around the farm, while a 10km surveillance zone has also been introduced.

Following the culling of the birds, a preliminary clean and disinfection of the housing will take place. After this has been completed protection zones will remain in place for between 21 days to 30 days.


Brady also told Agriland that the farmers within the 3km zone now face a ban on the movement of stock, and will likely also be inspected for evidence of the disease.

He has warned that the ban could have a significant financial impact on many farmers.

“It is very hard for the person who has been infected, but there’s also other people around there that won’t be able to restock their houses because of the ban on new animals coming in for 28 days,” he said.

He also said that while infected premises are able to claim compensation there are currently no compensation mechanisms in place for those who cannot restock.

“I feel sorry for the farmers that planned on putting chicks in today or this week, they might be out of chickens for a month.

“That’s one batch, which may be one seventh of their income gone through no fault of their own,” he added.

The poultry farm where bird flu was confirmed lies close to the border between Co. Monaghan and Co. Fermanagh.

Because of its location Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has also moved to introduce protection measures, including the enforcement of restriction zones.

Christmas turkeys

Although concerns have been raised that this could lead to a shortage of turkeys for the festive season this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said he is confident the disease will not affect supply.

He said the situation is “very concerning” but reassured the public that the outbreak is “very small within the context of the national supply”.

“With the precautions that are in place, I’m very confident that we won’t have any issue around supply for Christmas.

“By farmers taking every step that is being advised to them, I’m confident that we will minimise the impact of bird flu and ensure that the supply of turkey, chicken and all poultry products will be minimised,” he concluded.