Fears increase for local poultry industry

LOCAL bird keepers are being urged to be ultra vigilant once again this week, after two more cases of bird flu were confirmed in neighbouring counties, resulting in tens of thousands of birds being culled.

Concerns are growing that the continued spread of the virus, officially known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1, could pose a major threat to the local poultry industry, with the current outbreak believed to the largest ever seen in the UK.

Following multiple confirmed bird flu cases in wild birds across the UK and Ireland, there have now been several notifiable cases of the virus on farms across Ulster in recent weeks. These cases included two outbreaks in Monaghan, and one at a commercial farm in Aughnacloy where 27,000 ducks had to be humanely culled.


Two more cases have now been confirmed on farms in Coagh, Co Tyrone, where 22,000 ducks had to be culled, and Markethill in Co Armagh, where 14,000 birds had to be culled. Temporary Control Zones (TCZs) and 3km protection zones have also been introduced at the farms.

It is feared it is only a matter of time before the disease is confirmed in Fermanagh.

Local MLA Rosemary Barton urged all bird keepers to remain vigilant and take immediate action to halt the spread where necessary.

“Avian influenza (AI), commonly known as bird flu, is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of many species of birds,” she said. “It may also pose a threat to people and other animals in certain circumstances.

“This disease is hugely damaging to the poultry industry. The spread of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus H5N8 threatens domestic and wild poultry and birds worldwide.

“Early and accurate laboratory diagnostics are key for monitoring and controlling infectious diseases. On-farm bio-security is extremely important in the fight against the disease.”

Ms Barton added she had been pressing the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to provide compensation packages for businesses wiped out due to the disease, which she said “would be welcome to those who have suffered significant financial loss.”


To read more.. Subscribe to current edition


To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA