Bird flu confirmed in Enniskillen flock

CONTROL measures are in place and birds have been culled, after it was confirmed bird flu has been detected in Fermanagh.

The presence of the virus at a small mixed backyard flock in Ennkiskillen was first suspected at the weekend, and was confirmed yesterday (Tuesday).

“Following the suspicion of notifiable avian influenza, including initial laboratory results, in a premises in Enniskillen, the chief veterinary officer has taken the decision to take appropriate disease control measures,” said a DAERA spokesman at the weekend.


“This includes the humane culling of affected birds and the introduction of Temporary Control Zones (TCZs), effective from 10am on February 4, to mitigate for onward disease spread.

After the disease was confirmed yesterday,Chief veterinary officer Dr Robert Huey said he had imposed a 3km Protection Zone (PZ) at the site and a 10km Surveillance Zone (SZ).

“Although this is extremely disappointing it is not unexpected. It is a timely reminder that bird flu is still present in the environment and we must continue to be vigilant. We cannot afford to get complacent. This strain will use any gaps in biosecurity to gain access to a flock,” said Dr Huey.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots called on all bird keepers, particularly those with small backyard flocks, to review their biosecutiry practices.

“It is vitally important that all bird keepers adhere to the strict enhanced biosecurity measures of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) which remains in place in Northern Ireland,” he said. “As part of the measures of the AIPZ, bird keepers legally must keep their birds indoors or otherwise separate from wild birds, we cannot afford to be complacent so I would urge everyone to take all measures necessary.”

Over the past number of months bird flu has been confirmed in a number of neighbouring counties, including Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan, and Armagh.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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