Bird Flu Housing Order Extended to March for Poultry in Northern Ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Poultry keepers in Northern Ireland have been ordered to keep birds indoors to protect them from avian flu until 16 March - an extension of the original time of the Prevention Zone.
calendar icon 26 January 2017
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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs extended the ban due to continued findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8 strain in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, showing continued risk to birds in Northern Ireland.

Announcing the extension, the Chief Veterinary Officer, Robert Huey said: "Within the Prevention Zone, all keepers of poultry and captive birds, including small backyard flocks, are required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. Failure to take these steps could have very serious implications not only for the keepers themselves, but for any of their neighbours that keep poultry, including commercial poultry premises in the area."

Mr Huey continued: "Failure to comply with the housing requirement is also an offence and could lead to prosecution

"I would again urge poultry keepers in Northern Ireland to be vigilant and where necessary improve their biosecurity. Even when birds are housed there is still a risk of infection and biosecurity should not be compromised. Clothing and equipment should be disinfected, the movement of poultry should be reduced and contact between poultry and wild birds should be minimised."

The CVO added: "While there still have been no cases of H5N8 in Northern Ireland, we should not be complacent given the ongoing disease situation elsewhere... Keepers who are concerned about the health or welfare of their flock should seek veterinary advice immediately."

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