Two further suspect cases of notifiable avian flu identified | Newry Times

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editor@newrytimes.com
Monday, December 13th, 2021
Politics

Two further suspect cases of notifiable avian influenza have been identified in a commercial poultry flock near Markethill in County Armagh and a commercial duck flock in Coagh, County Tyrone.

 

Two further suspect cases of notifiable avian flu identified | Newry Times - newry news

 

The news follows confirmation from the National Reference Laboratory that both previous suspect cases in Aughnacloy and Broughshane were positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1.

 

 

As a precautionary measure following initial laboratory results, appropriate disease control measures have been introduced including the humane culling of the affected birds (approx. 14,000 in Armagh and 22,000 in Coagh) and the introduction of two Temporary Control Zones (TCZs), to mitigate for onward disease spread. 

Samples have been sent to the National Reference Laboratory to confirm strain and pathogenicity. 

Should HPAI be confirmed, these TCZs will be revoked and a 3 km Protection Zone (PZ) and 10 km Surveillance Zone (SZ) established around the infected premises

Northern Ireland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Robert Huey explains, “Unfortunately notifiable avian influenza is strongly suspected in two further commercial flocks in Northern Ireland.

 

 

“This is now not only the largest ever outbreak of HPAI in the UK, but also in Northern Ireland.

“And we must do all we can to protect our flocks, protect our businesses and protect the economy.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is that flock keepers reassess all of their biosecurity measures immediately.

“Are they stringent enough?

“Are you reviewing them EVERY day?

“What else can you do to prevent an incursion?

“You can also complete our biosecurity checklist.

He adds, “Do it today, do not wait.”

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots says, “We are at a critical point in the management of this outbreak.

“This strain of H5N1 spreads quickly and could wipe out an entire flock in a matter of days.

 

 

“I am urging all bird keepers to proactively assess their current biosecurity measures and re-double their efforts to keep this disease out of your flocks.

“Keep your flock housed, change your boots, wash your hands, wear disposable boiler suits, keep surrounding areas clean and only have essential vehicles coming on-site – simple, repetitive steps will help protect your flock from Avian Flu.

“We have also received confirmation from the National Reference Lab that the cases in the commercial duck farm in Auchnacloy and the backyard flock keeper in Broughshane were both positive for HPAI H5N1.

Minister Poots adds, “We cannot afford to be complacent and must act now to protect our flocks.”

Full details of the scope and measures required within both TCZs are included in the declaration, which will be published imminently online and available to view on the DAERA webpage at the following link:

Disease Control Zone Declarations | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)

 


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