Avian flu found in Monaghan turkey flock

Avian flu found in Monaghan turkey flock

RESTRICTIONS HAVE been put in place around an area in Co Monaghan following the identification of Avian Influenza H5N1 in samples from a turkey flock.

It is understood tests on the 3,000 strong flock were carried out this weekend and results show evidence of H5N1 avian flu infection in a number of turkeys.

As the premises is very close to the border both the three kilometre protection zone and the 10km surveillance zone that have now been introduced and will be enforced by Department of Agriculture officials in Ireland, along with their counterparts in Northern Ireland.

The infected flock is a commercial flock of turkeys all of which must now be destroyed.

Further testing to determine the pathogenicity is being carried out by officials, with results expected to over the coming days.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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 (bird flu). 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.

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.