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Bird-confinement measure to be lifted

The legal requirement to confine or house poultry and other captive birds as a precautionary measure against avian influenza (bird flu) will be lifted from April 9.

Legislation requiring the precautionary confinement of birds was introduced on December 21, 2020 to mitigate the risk of avian influenza in poultry. The decision to withdraw this requirement is based on a number of parameters including: no case of bird flu has been confirmed here in wild birds for a period of eight weeks; reducing numbers of migratory waterfowl; and increasing environmental temperatures and daylight hours.
From April 9, all poultry and bird owners can allow their birds access to open areas and runs, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed, but it has urged flock owners to remain vigilant as the virus can be present in the environment or be transmitted to their flock by wild birds. Enhanced biosecurity requirements that were introduced last December are still in place, however, and include: that poultry or other captive birds cannot come into contact with wild birds; that all areas that poultry and captive birds have access to must be fenced; and that they are restricted from access to open or permanent standing water. Restrictions on the assembly of live birds for the purposes of show or sale also remain in place for the time being.
Bird owners should continue to monitor their birds for any signs of disease and implement strict disease-control measures. Birds should continue to be fed indoors or under cover where wild birds cannot have access. And all poultry owners, including those who keep only one or two birds are legally obliged to register their premises with the DAFM. Guidance on how to register your poultry can be found at: www.gov.ie/en/service/984df6-poultry-register/