Poultry and backyard flock owners urged to be vigilant of bird flu

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has reiterated the risk that avian influenza (AI) poses to the poultry sector in Ireland and is urging poultry and backyard flock owners to remain vigilant for the disease.

The department noted the current investigation into the suspected presence of a notifiable avian disease in a broiler breeder flock in Co. Fermanagh.

This, the authority said, serves to highlight once again to poultry keepers the measures they should take to reduce the risk of introducing disease into their flock.

As the public is currently in the high-risk period for avian influenza, the department urges all poultry owners including backyard flock owners to be vigilant and to implement strict biosecurity on their premises, particularly in relation to minimising contact with wild birds.

It is critically important to ensure that wild birds do not have access to feeding areas and feed stores.

Flock owners should also regularly monitor their birds for signs of disease, the authority added.

If owners suspect any signs of the disease in their flocks, they must report it immediately to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Anyone who keeps poultry, even only one or two birds, in Ireland must register their premises with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the authority concluded.