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Department Confirms HPAI Subtype In The Wild Bird Found In County Tipperary

The Department today announced that it has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N6 detected in the wild bird found in County Tipperary on 31 January, is the highly pathogenic strain that has previously been confirmed in Great Britain and mainland Europe.  This is the only case detected in Ireland so far.

As previously advised, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that the risk to humans is considered to be very low. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland confirms that poultry meat is safe to eat, provided that it is handled hygienically while raw, and cooked thoroughly prior to consumption.

The Department continues to closely monitor the disease situation and are in consultation with the poultry industry on possible future risk mitigating measures. The Department maintains close contact with our counterparts in Northern Ireland on the matter.

It is vital for flock owners to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of avian influenza.  In particular flock owners should feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water. Keep poultry separate from wild birds by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access.

Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

Anyone who keeps poultry, even small numbers of poultry for their own use, or who deals or trades in poultry, must register their premises with the Department, under the Control on Places where Poultry are kept Regulations 2014 (S.I. 114 of 2014). Anyone who owns other birds such as racing pigeons, aviary birds or other captive birds is also encouraged to register with the Department.  On-line registration is now possible. Full details can be found here.

The public is advised not to handle sick or dead birds, but to notify the nearest Department Veterinary Office or ring the Avian Influenza Hotline: 076 106 4403 (Outside of Office hours:   1850 200 456). Department staff will continue to collect sufficient birds for testing to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically, in different species and over time.

Further information:

  1. Further information on avian influenza can be found here: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/avian_influenza/

  2. Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although these vary between species of bird.

  3. If you suspect disease in your own flock, notify the nearest Department Veterinary Office or ring the Avian Influenza Hotline: 076 106 4403 (Outside of Office hours:   1850 200 456).

  4. A list of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offices and their contact details is available at: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/contact/

 

ENDS

 

 

Date Released: 09 February 2018