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Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian influenza or “Bird Flu” is a contagious and often fatal viral disease of birds. Avian influenza viruses in poultry and wild birds are categorised into two groups depending on the severity of the disease that they cause:


- Highly pathogenic avian influenza: can have up to 100 % mortality in affected flocks.

- Low pathogenic avian influenza: generally causes mild disease in affected birds.


Wild birds, particularly wild migratory water birds, are considered to be the main reservoir of avian influenza viruses. There is a constant risk of avian influenza being introduced into Ireland from wild birds particularly from November onwards each year as this is when migratory birds arrive and congregate on wetlands, mixing with resident species. Cold, short winter days also increase the risk of avian influenza due to increased virus survival times in the environment.


Certain avian influenza viruses can occasionally affect humans, usually after close contact with infected poultry.


Ireland is currently free of avian Influenza and an outbreak of the disease would have a significant impact on the poultry industry here. You can take measures to protect your poultry from avian influenza by implementing key biosecurity measures.


Also remember it is important to register your poultry premises, even if you have only 1 or 2 birds, so we can provide you with information on how to protect your poultry in the event of an avian influenza threat.


Avian Influenza Hotline: 076 106 4403

Outside of Office hours: 1850 200 456


Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)