Ag Department Dealing with Instance of Avian Influenza in Pheasants02 April 2012
IRELAND - The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that preliminary tests have identified evidence of Avian Influenza virus in samples from pheasants in a small flock of some 100 game birds on a premises near Clonakilty in Cork.
The preliminary test results show that whilst it is what is called the H5 strain, it is not the most pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus. Further tests are being carried out to establish the precise strain.
These additional laboratory test results will be available within days and the Department will review the measures being announced today on the basis of those results. As a purely precautionary measure, the birds on the affected premises are being slaughtered and all necessary biosecurity measures have been put in place. In line with established procedures and in accordance with EU regulations, as a further precautionary measure, a 1km avian influenza temporary restriction zone has been put in place around the premises. In this zone, additional surveillance is being undertaken by Department veterinary staff, and the movement of poultry, other birds, and their products and other animals on poultry holdings is prohibited, except under license from the Regional Veterinary Office.
It is important to note that there is no concerns relating to the consumption of poultry meat or poultry meat products and there are no restrictions on poultry movements outside the 1km restriction zone.
Whilst the Department has ruled out the most highly pathogenic strain of Avian Influenza in this case, persons having contact with birds should nonetheless ensure that appropriate biosecurity measures are in place, as set out in the Department's guidelines. They should check birds regularly and if an unusually high number of sick or dead birds are noticed, they should notify their Regional Veterinary Office.
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