The Department of Agriculture has issued a warning to be vigilant about the risk of avian influenza (bird flu) this winter. There is a greater risk of bird flu spreading in Ireland in winter as wild migrating birds return for the season

Signs of avian influenza include

  • Death / high mortalities in a flock.
  • Depression/lethargy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Respiratory distress such as gaping beak, coughing, sneezing, gurgling or rattling.
  • Blue discolouration of combs, wattles, neck and throat.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Reduced/no eggs production.
  • Biosecurity advice


  • Wear disposable or dedicated outer clothing when in contact with your birds.
  • Wear boots that can be disinfected, disposable gloves and wash hands after contact with poultry.
  • Only allow essential personnel access to your birds.
  • Buildings and equipment

  • Regularly clean and disinfect hard surfaces such as paths and walkways.
  • Provide clean boot washing and disinfection facilities at all entrances/exits and ensure that people use them.
  • Clean and disinfect any vehicles or equipment that come into contact with the birds after use.
  • Have suitable pest control in place.
  • Earlier this month, the French authorities confirmed an outbreak of low pathogenic bird flu in a flock of 2,600 free-ranging mallard ducks in central France.

    The birds did not display any signs of disease. The affected farm kept mallards for the purposes of hunting. The outbreak in France represents the first recording in the high-risk period for the disease in 2019.