The Avian Influenza prevention zone (AIPZ) that has been in force across Northern Ireland since last October and the ban on poultry gatherings have now been lifted, as of 2 June.
DAERA’s chief veterinary officer (CVO), Robert Huey, made the announcement and thanked the poultry sector for its role in protecting the industry.
The measures, imposing a range of compulsory biosecurity measures on poultry flocks, were introduced on 17 October 2022. The aim of the AIPZ was to address the risk posed by avian influenza to the poultry sector and was a vital tool in protecting flocks across NI from the disease which was circulating in wild birds.
“Thanks to the determined efforts from the poultry sector in Northern Ireland to protect their flocks and minimise the impact of disease, we are now in a position to lift the AIPZ and reduce all mandatory restrictions placed on bird keepers,” said Huey. “I’m sure this will be welcome news for the sector which contributes greatly to our economy and wider society.
“Although all mandatory restrictions have now been lifted, the biosecurity requirements set out for the AIPZ should still be considered good practice. We are urging all bird keepers, whether they have a few birds or thousands, to adhere to the guidance as much as is practically possible.
“I would also encourage all poultry and captive bird keepers to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and seek immediate advice from their vet if they have any concerns.”
All poultry and bird gatherings are now permitted provided organisers comply with the provisions of General Licence available on the DAERA website.