As you will no doubt be aware by now that Avian Flu has now reached our shores. It is absolutely imperative that we are all vigilant in keeping a very close scrutiny on wild birds. If you are getting closer to wild birds, if they are reluctant to fly or show other signs of stress/feebleness, please report these matters to the relevant authorities and follow the guidelines provided.
The Department has released the following update:
- We have 6 Regional Veterinary Laboratories in Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick & Sligo (see link below)
- They are not normally staffed at weekends & bank holidays, so a local arrangement would need to be made for them to take in birds (which we will do our best to organise)
- It is critical that birds are double-bagged & properly labelled, that we know the species, where the birds were found & that we have contact details for people who found & handled the birds
- Anyone handling birds should be advised to wear gloves or use a plastic bag to pick up the birds, or if this not possible – to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards
- In the event that a bird tests positive for avian influenza H5 or H7, there will be a follow-up by public health officials as a precautionary measure