Europe

Bird flu case confirmed in Republic of Ireland

Bird flu image Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The avian influenza subtype H5N8 was discovered in a bird in County Wexford

A case of bird flu has been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland.

The avian influenza subtype H5N8 was discovered in a bird in County Wexford.

The wild duck, a wigeon, was found alive, but unable to fly in Wexford Town on Wednesday, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ reports.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, but no human infections with this virus have been reported.

The Department of Agriculture and Food said the finding is not unexpected given the detection of highly contagious H5N8 in wild birds in Britain.

The discovery comes a week after the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, introduced regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring the compulsory housing of poultry as a result of the increased threat, said the Department in a statement.

"Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Britain and mainland Europe.

"The results of these tests will not be available until the middle of next week,."

The Department said flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds, and to report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

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