Government issue housing order for poultry over bird flu concerns

A strain of the virus was found in England last week

Government issue housing order for poultry over bird flu concerns

Free-range hens on farmer Tim McGlynn's farm| Images

The Department of Agriculture has activated regulations requiring all poultry and captive birds to be kept within a secure building amid concerns over bird flu.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has issued the notice in response to the outbreak of the deadly strain in a turkey flock in England last week and in a dead wild duck in Wales earlier this week.

The Avian Influenza as it’s officially known has been responsible for a number of outbreaks in both wild birds and poultry in several European countries since the end of October. 

The Department has activated the regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which requires flock keepers to confine all poultry and birds in a secure building which cannot be accessed by other wild animals.

The Department said "Although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low."

An early warning system is in place with Birdwatch Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Association of Regional Game Councils.