White-tailed sea eagle found dead of avian flu in Co Tipperary

Department of Agriculture described the bird’s death as ‘not unexpected’

A white-tailed sea-eagle. Photograph: iStock

A white-tailed sea-eagle. Photograph: iStock

 

Farmers have been warned to take precautions after a white-tailed sea eagle was found dead of avian flu in Co Tipperary.

The Department of Agriculture described the bird’s death as “not unexpected” given recent detections of avian influenza subtype H5N6 in wild birds in Britain.

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre and the European Centre for Disease Control said the risk to public health from the strain is very low and poses no food safety risk to consumers.

“The finding is not unexpected given the detection of highly pathogenic H5N6 in wild birds in multiple locations in Great Britain since the start of January and in other European countries prior to that,” the department said in a statement.

Further tests are being carried out on the bird, which was discovered last month.

The department said the discovery of the bird indicates an increased risk of avian influenza to Irish poultry and captive bird flocks and strict bio-security measures are necessary to prevent this.

“In particular flock owners should feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water,” it said. “Keep poultry separate from wild birds by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access.”

Flock owners have been asked to remain vigilant and to report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.