As the H5N8 strain of avian influenza spreads across Europe, Irish farmers are being encouraged to take the precaution of housing all free -range birds.

“Even people who have chickens running around farmyards need to house them indoors,” IFA poultry chair Nigel Reneghan said. “Where a food supply is available, such as grain stores, wild fowl can land, and if there are domestic fowl there then it’s a real issue. Please be cautious.”