The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has said that over 80 cases of bird flu have been detected in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain in the latest outbreak of the disease.

DAERA published an update on the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus yesterday (January 4).

It said that a 3km protection zone surrounding the site of a confirmed outbreak in a poultry flock in Co. Armagh has now ended after culling of the birds and cleansing and disinfection of the premises was completed.

The area now becomes part of a 10km surveillance zone; a licence is needed for any movement of poultry or eggs in these declared zones.

Bird flu

DAERA said that five cases of HPAI H5N1 have been confirmed in Northern Ireland in this latest outbreak of bird flu:

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

The department said that six HPAI H5N1 cases have been identified and confirmed in the Republic of Ireland; five in Co. Monaghan and one in Co. Cavan.

DAERA said it has worked closely with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) where surveillance zones extend into Northern Ireland.

Since the first confirmed case in this outbreak of bird flu on October 26 last year, DAERA said that 70 cases of HPAI H5N1 have been confirmed in Britain.

Recently, a German government research centre said that Europe is experiencing its worst-ever bird flu outbreak.

The Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), Germany’s Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, said that new cases are being detected daily.

Over one million birds have been culled in Germany alone since the beginning of this outbreak.

Cases of HPAI H5N1 have been confirmed across the world including in Russia, Canada, India and East Asia.