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Monday 21 May 2018

Public advised not to touch dead or sick birds as bird flu confirmed in common buzzard

Buzzards consume pests such as rats and grey squirrels in large numbers
Buzzards consume pests such as rats and grey squirrels in large numbers
A Common Buzzard
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Avian influenza subtype H5N6 has been confirmed in a wild bird (common buzzard) in County Tipperary.

This is the second positive wild bird finding in Ireland this year.

The first positive finding was detected on February 5 in a white tailed sea eagle found also in County Tipperary.

The Department of Agriculture said the common buzzard was found dead outside Terryglass, Co. Tipperary, on land adjacent Lough Derg.

The Department of Agriculture has said the situation in Ireland and other EU countries in regard to Avian influenza is being kept under constant review.

No additional control measures will be introduced at this point.

Read also: All your questions answered on 'Bird Flu'

The advice to flock owners is still to remain vigilant to the threat of avian influenza and take specific measures to protect their flocks including minimising access to wild birds by feeding poultry indoors for example.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSE-HPSC) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) advise that the risk to public health from H5N8 and H5N6 avian influenza is very low.

FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) has also confirmed that poultry meat is safe to eat, provided that it is handled hygienically cooked thoroughly prior to consumption.

However, as a precaution the Department advises that only trained people wearing personal protective equipment collect dead or sick birds.

Flock owners and members of the public are not advised to touch dead or sick birds and to report them immediately to the Avian Influenza Hotline at (076) 106 4403 during normal office hours or (1850) 200 456 outside of normal office hours

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