Vigilance urged after flu found in wild bird in County Antrim

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging poultry farmers to remain vigilant in light of the detection of Avian Influenza (AI) in a wild bird found in County Antrim.

“We strongly recommend that all poultry keepers, including backyard keepers, review their biosecurity measures and familiarise themselves with DAERA’s guidance on good biosecurity,” said UFU Poultry Chairman Martyn Blair. “If you have any suspicion of disease within your flock you should contact your vet or the local DVO immediately.”

Advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) is that the risk to public health from the virus is very low. While findings in wild birds are not unexpected, given the detection of HPAI H5N6 in wild birds in several locations in England and the Republic of Ireland, it is a timely reminder for all bird keepers to be alert.

“I would encourage producers to practise good farm hygiene and keep birds’ food and water in enclosed areas separate from wild birds wherever possible. Poultry keepers can also sign up to the Avian Influenza text alert service to receive immediate notifications of a disease outbreak,” said Blair.

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