Suspected cases of bird flu in Northern Ireland are being investigated by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

“The Department is currently investigating a number of suspected avian flu cases in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone,” a DAERA spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Restrictions are in place at the affected sites while we await the outcome of laboratory results,” the spokesperson added.

A case of H6N1 strain of avian influenza was identified on a broiler breeder unit in Fermanagh in January. The non-notifiable strain of bird flu is low risk and causes mild breathing problems in poultry.

However, it is understood that a substantial cull of birds had to be undertaken on a separate farm in Fermanagh in recent weeks following a similar outbreak.


“The Department is working with and assisting the poultry sector to get the situation under control.

“We continue to urge all flock keepers to maintain excellent levels of biosecurity to protect their flocks,” the DAERA spokesperson said.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is also urging poultry producers to implement heightened biosecurity protocols following the outbreaks.

“To reduce the risk of infection in poultry, maintaining high levels of biosecurity and practicing good farm hygiene at all times are essential,” UFU deputy president David Brown said.

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