Mon, 27 Mar 2023

Avian Influenza Surveillance Zones lifted

Northern Ireland Executive
21 Dec 2022, 22 GMT+10

Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr. Robert Huey, has announced that the Avian Influenza Surveillance Zones in County Fermanagh have now been lifted and movement restrictions removed.

Dr. Huey confirmed that the Surveillance Zones will be lifted from 00:01 on Thursday 22 February. These zones have been in place since official confirmation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in two commercial turkey holdings near Clones, County Monaghan.

Dr Huey said: "When HPAI H5N1 was confirmed at two premises in County Monaghan, the Chief Veterinary Officer for the Republic of Ireland took the decision to adopt appropriate disease control measures. I declared corresponding disease control zones for the areas which extended into Northern Ireland.

"Officials from DAERA have worked closely with colleagues from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and industry stakeholders to manage these outbreaks.

"Following the successful completion of all disease control activities and surveillance around both premises, the decision has been taken to lift the movement restrictions. In addition, after the completion of preliminary cleansing and disinfection, the 3km Captive Bird Monitoring Zone at Castle Espie, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) has also been lifted as of 1pm on 16 December 2022."

However, the Chief Veterinary Officer has reiterated that Avian Influenza is still a real and present threat to Northern Ireland industry: "It is imperative that we don't get complacent with the lifting of these Surveillance Zones. The risk of an avian influenza incursion into poultry flocks in NI is still present and I am urging all bird keepers, particularly over the holiday period, to critically review biosecurity measures, remain vigilant, and report any signs of disease to the Department immediately.

"I want to stress that the AIPZ remains in place across the whole of Northern Ireland and that includes the need to adhere to those strict biosecurity measures and the mandatory housing order introduced in November for all kept and captive birds."

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