November 8, 2022


Irish agriculture minister introduces regulations for keeping poultry birds away from wild ones


Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, announced this month he is introducing regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring Irish flock keepers to 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 regulations, entitled "Avian Influenza (Precautionary Confinement of Birds) Regulations 2022", were introduced as a precautionary measure and came into force on November 7.


The measure is being taken against a background of the confirmation of disease in wild birds along the coast since July, increasing risk levels due to colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours as well as recent confirmation of disease in a wild bird inland.


In addition, two outbreaks of HPAI H5N1 have been reported in captive bird flocks in coastal areas of counties Dublin and Wicklow where HPAI H5N1 had been confirmed previously in wild birds.


These findings highlight an increasing risk to all poultry flocks and captive birds and by extension the poultry industry. Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have also been identified in poultry flocks in Great Britain and a number of other European countries in recent weeks.


The department previously introduced regulations on September 19 making it mandatory for all keepers of poultry and captive birds to adopt enhanced biosecurity measures for poultry and other captive birds. It is important to note that housing is a support to biosecurity, not an alternative. Stringent biosecurity remains key to protecting poultry and captive bird flocks from disease.


Poultry flock owners are expected 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.


The department continues to closely monitor and assess the disease situation and is in regular contact with industry stakeholders, according to the Irish government.


- Government of Ireland

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