Avian Influenza - Advice and Precautions
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has confirmed that a wild greylag goose found in Lurgan Park, Co Armagh earlier this month has tested positive for H5N6 Avian Influenza. While the risk of an avian influenza incursion in wild birds remains, the risk to poultry is low.
However, it is essential that we take the necessary steps to protect our poultry industry and the wider economy:
- Report dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location to DAERA - Helpline Number 0300 200 7840, Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm.
- Advice from the Public Health Agency is that the risk to public health from the virus is very low, however the general public is advised to take appropriate biosecurity precautions (eg wear gloves, cover footwear etc) before touching or picking up birds that are dead, or appear to be sick or dying.
- The Food Standards Agency has confirmed that Avian Influenza does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
- Thoroughly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
- If you are concerned about the health of your birds you should seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.
- If you suspect that your birds are showing signs of the disease you should immediately report it to your nearest Department Veterinary Office.
- Bird keepers should register their flocks. This will ensure they receive the latest information from DAERA and also allow them to be contacted in an avian disease outbreak enabling them to protect their flock at the earliest opportunity.
- Bird keepers should subscribe to the Avian Influenza text service by simply texting: ‘BIRDS’ to 67300”
- Further advice can be found on the DAERA website: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/avian-influenza-ai