The first case of bird flu in 2024 was confirmed in a commercial poultry flock in England on 14 February, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced.

Chief veterinary officer Robert Huey has issued a message to all bird keepers stressing that the risk of avian flu remains a real and constant threat.

"The confirmation of this first case of the year in England is a stark reminder that all bird keepers must remain vigilant and continue to practice high standards of biosecurity. Effective biosecurity measures are vital in protecting Northern Ireland’s (NI) poultry flock from this disease," he said.


Huey has urged all bird keepers to critically review their biosecurity and improve where possible to reduce the risk of transmission of disease to flocks.

If avian flu was to enter any flock, including backyard or hobby flocks, it would have a devastating effect on the poultry industry and have a significant impact on international trade, he added.

Northern Ireland

The risk of a notifiable avian influenza incursion into the NI poultry flock is moderate with high uncertainty, he said.

DAERA encourages all bird keepers to sign up to the text alert service. This will allow you to receive immediate notification of any important disease information, allowing you to protect your flocks at the earliest opportunity. Text BIRDS OPT IN to add your number to receive text messages to 07860 098672.

If your poultry have been registered and you provided DAERA with a valid mobile number, you have automatically been subscribed to this service and notified by text.