24 October 2023
A press release highlighting the need for flock keepers to be prepared as we enter the high risk period for avian influenza has been published at the link below.
21 September 2023
The latest Avian Influenza Veterinary Risk Assessment has been published. You can find out more information on the risk of incursion into Northern Ireland poultry flocks during the 2023/24 migratory season here
1 August 2023
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in two fox cub carcases collected in Portrush, County Antrim. This is the first time mammals have been confirmed as having influenza of an avian strain in NI, however it is not unexpected given that there have been findings in recent months across Europe, GB and ROI.
In light of these findings, DAERA is encouraging the public to keep dogs on leads and to keep pets away from carcasses, particularly in coastal areas.
Please see press release
09 June 2023
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in black headed gulls in four locations across Northern Ireland - Belfast Harbour, Comber, Coalisland, and Magherafelt.
In light of these most recent HPAI confirmations in this species of wild bird, DAERA vets have updated the ongoing Veterinary Risk Assessment (VRA). There is now an increasing likelihood of incursion into kept flocks, albeit with a high level of uncertainity, in consideration of the relatively limited number of reports.
While the Department lifted the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) on 2 June, the confirmation of HPAI in black headed gulls in four locations is a stark warning that AI is a constant and dynamic threat. All bird and poultry keepers must step up their biosecurity measures immediately and remain vigilant against the latest threat of Avian Influenza (AI).
A press release regarding these detections has been issued today.
Further information on biosecurity and a self-assessment tool to aid flock keepers in the review of their biosecurity arrangements can be found here.
If you find dead waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should not touch the carcasses but take immediate action to report them to the DAERA helpline on 0300 200 7840. Information received will be assessed and a decision made on whether to collect and sample the carcase for Avian Influenza.
18 May 2023
The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has approved and published a UK self-declaration of the recovery of freedom from infection with high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (HPAI) for the zone of Northern Ireland (NI). The declaration can be viewed on the WOAH website here.
This is a very welcome development and is the result of the extensive collaborative efforts across DAERA and industry during the last two outbreak seasons.
As this is the first occasion that NI has been recognised as a zone of the UK free from HPAI, Veterinary Service Animal Health Group (VSAHG) trade export colleagues will work closely with Defra Market Access in the coming days to understand the immediate impact on export certification.
Export queries should be referred to DAERATradeExports@daera-ni.gov.uk
It is important to note that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) remains in place for now along with a ban on poultry gatherings. We continue to work closely with colleagues from across the devolved administrations and the Republic of Ireland to review the current risk of a HPAI incursion to determine next steps with regards to the HPAI restrictions still in force.