A wild peregrine falcon in Limerick has been confirmed to have been carrying avian influenza, better known as bird flu.

It was diagnosed with the subtype H5N8 and more tests are being carried out to determine if it is the highly pathogenic strain that is currently in Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.

The bird was submitted to the Limerick Regional Laboratory where initial tests were carried out and the Department of Agriculture is urging flock owners to remain vigilant for signs of the disease in their flocks.

“The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported worldwide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low,” the Department said.

More information on bird flu can be found here.