Avian influenza H5N1 confirmed in Ireland turkey flock

Restriction zones in place to protect sector
calendar icon 14 November 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that test results have identified evidence of avian influenza H5N1 in samples from a turkey flock in Co. Monaghan. Further testing to determine the pathogenicity is being carried out and we expect to have results over the coming days.

The department has moved quickly to put in place avian influenza restriction zones where additional protection and surveillance measures are required. Poultry keepers with flocks located within the restriction zones are legally obliged to comply with zone requirements.

The Department continues to advise strict adherence to the precautionary measures against avian influenza. Recently, and proactively, the Minister and the Department introduced enhanced biosecurity and confinement regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

These Regulations require all flock keepers to implement enhanced biosecurity measures and confine all poultry and captive birds in their possession or under their control in a secure building to which wild birds, or other animals do not have access.

Stringent biosecurity remains key to protecting poultry and captive bird flocks from disease. Poultry flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Regional Veterinary Office.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, the risk to humans is considered to be very low.

However, members of the public are advised not to handle sick or dead wild birds and to keep their dog on a leash in areas with sick or dead wild birds. It is important to note that there is no evidence of a human health risk associated with consumption of poultry meat, poultry meat products or eggs.

The Department reinforces the need for vigilance and biosecurity and continues to closely monitor and assess the disease situation and is in regular contact with industry stakeholders.

The Department has been liaising closely with the poultry industry in recent days and will continue to do so.

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