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Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirms Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Pheasants in West Cork

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that final laboratory test results confirm that the Avian Influenza virus found last week in samples from pheasants in a flock of game birds on a premises near Clonakilty in Cork are, as expected, a low pathogenic strain of the virus and there is no risk to public health as a result. In addition, laboratory results from a broiler flock in the same area tested negative for Avian Influenza indicating that the virus has not spread.

Further laboratory test results relating to Pheasants found in the Barryroe area of West Cork will be available in the coming days. Although the birds have been slaughtered as a precautionary measure, all necessary biosecurity measures will remain in place in Barryroe, including the 1km temporary restriction zone while these further test results are awaited. In this zone, additional surveillance will continue to be undertaken by Department veterinary staff, and the movement of poultry, other birds, and their products and other animals on poultry holdings is prohibited, except under license from the Regional Veterinary Office.

The temporary zone in Clonakilty has now been replaced by a Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza restriction zone of 1km and this will remain in place for at least 21 days after the preliminary cleaning and disinfection of the infected site has been completed.

Full details of the origin of the birds have been established by the Department and if necessary, further temporary restriction zones will be put in place should this prove necessary.

The Department once again reiterated that there is no concern relating to the consumption of poultry meat or poultry meat products and there are no restrictions on poultry movements outside the 1km restriction zones.

Whilst the Department has ruled out the high pathogenic strain of Avian Influenza, persons having contact with birds should nonetheless ensure that appropriate biosecurity measures are in place, as set out in the Department's guidelines. They should check birds regularly and if an unusually high number of sick or dead birds are noticed, they should notify their Regional Veterinary Office. 

Note for Editors:

The measures that apply in the LPAI are as follows:

  • A census of all premises containing commercial poultry or captive birds will be carried out
  • All commercial poultry flocks will be examined by a veterinary inspector and samples taken for avian influenza testing
  • Movements of poultry, other captive birds, other animals from poultry farms, eggs and poultry litter/manure are prohibited (except under certain conditions and under licence)
  • Bird gatherings are banned
  • The release of game birds is banned
  • Biosecurity measures must be implemented in the case of people and vehicles moving to and from premises containing poultry or captive birds

 

Date Released: 02 April 2012