THE DEPARTMENT OF Agriculture is urging Irish poultry farmers to check their flocks after a confirmed outbreak of bird flu in England.
An outbreak of ‘highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8′ (bird flu) has been confirmed in a turkey flock near the east coast in Lincolnshire.
The H5N8 subtype of the avian virus has been responsible for a number of outbreaks of disease in both wild birds and poultry in several European countries since the end of October this year.
The strain can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds.
As no human infections have ever been reported, the risk to humans is considered to be very low.
In a statement:
The Department re-emphasises that poultry flock owners are advised to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, maintain strict biosecurity measures and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.
An early warning system is in place with Birdwatch Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Association of Regional Game Councils, which is checking for signs of the disease in wild birds.
The Department said continues to closely monitor and assess the disease situation and maintains close contact with their counterparts in the UK.
On Friday, the chief veterinary officer for Northern Ireland issued similar advice to farmers north of the border.