The Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of Avian flu in a wild bird in Oranmore, Co Galway.

The peregrine falcon was submitted to the Limerick Regional Veterinary Laboratory as part of the Department's wild bird Avian Influenza surveillance programme.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain was confirmed.

While this subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, human infections is extremely rare, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, which says no human infections with this virus have been reported in Europe this year.

It says properly-cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

 

This strain of avian flu has also been confirmed in wild birds, poultry and captive birds in Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Poland and Denmark since the middle of last month.

The Department of Agriculture says we are currently in the high-risk period - between October and April - for the introduction of bird flu into Ireland from migratory wild birds returning to overwinter from areas where the disease is widespread.

The Department has stressed that strict bio-security measures are needed to prevent the introduction of avian flu into poultry and captive bird flocks.

Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease, and report any such suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

 

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