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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 21 January, 2019

White-tailed sea eagle found dead in Tipperary had bird flu

Flock owners are advised to feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water.

Image: Shutterstock

A WHITE-TAILED SEA eagle found dead in Co Tipperary last Wednesday is confirmed to have had bird flu.

Although the risk to public health is very low and that the disease poses no food safety risk for consumers, the government is urging measures to be taken by those with flocks of birds as a precaution.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today announced that it the wild bird was carrying avian influenza subtype H5N6, but said that further tests are pending to determine what strain of that subtype it is.

The department said that the finding “is not unexpected given the detection of highly pathogenic H5N6 in wild birds in multiple locations in Great Britain since the start of January and in other European countries prior to that”.

Nonetheless, the government is encouraging those with flocks of birds to bring them indoors.

The finding indicates an increased risk of introduction of avian influenza into poultry and captive bird flocks, and that strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent this.
This applies to all flocks, irrespective of size. In particular, flock owners should feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water.
Keep poultry separate from wild birds by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access.

Flock owners are advised to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any indications of the disease to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

Read: All birds at Dublin Zoo have been moved indoors over flu threat

Read: Sixth case of bird flu in Ireland found in whooper swan

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