Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland precautions against avian flu extended

Chickens Image copyright AFP
Image caption Poultry farmers have been warned to remain vigilant

Precautions against the spread of bird flu in Northern Ireland are to be extended for a month.

The Avian Influenza Protection Zone will remain in place until 31 May, the Department of Agriculture has announced.

Chief Veterinary Officer Robert Huey called on poultry keepers to remain vigilant against the spread of the disease.

"The risk of infection from wild birds is decreasing," he said.

"It is essential that bird keepers comply with the biosecurity requirements set out in the declaration of the Prevention Zone if they are to minimise the risk of infection."

Measures to ensure that poultry are kept separate from the wild population were introduced on 17 March.

According to the department, the threat to public health from the virus is very low and consumers should not be concerned about eating eggs or poultry.