Dept of Agriculture

  • The Department of Agriculture has introduced enhanced biosecurity measures on poultry farms, as a precautionary measure against Avian Influenza.

    It comes as Avian Influenza H5N8 has been identified in wild birds in Mayo, Monaghan, Cork and Limerick since early this month.

    The findings confirm that the avian flu virus is currently circulating in the wild bird population in Ireland, which poses a risk to our poultry flocks and industry.

    The regulations announced today require flock keepers to apply particular bio-security measures for poultry as well as a ban on the assembly of birds.

    The Department is urging poultry flock owners to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, maintain strict biosecurity measures and report any suspicion of disease to their nearest Department Regional Veterinary office.

    While this strain of avian influenza can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported worldwide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low.

    However, members of the public are advised not to handle sick or dead wild birds, and to report them instead to the Regional Veterinary office, or the Department's disease hotline on 1850 200 456.

  • The Department of Agriculture has issued a warning about the risk of forest fires during the current warm spell - the orange alert remains in place across the country until Friday.

    Coillte's communications manager Pat Neville has also urged the public to be vigilant.

    He said the highest risk of forest fires is at this time of year, when last year's vegetation has not fully decomposed and become dried out.

    Mr Neville said most forest fires do not start naturally, and lighting a campfire or having a barbeque can have potentially catastrophic effects.

    He says the public have an important role in protecting forests from fires.

    The warning comes following extensive gorse fires across Dooyork in Geesala over the weekend.

    The blaze, which threatened a number of homes, was eventually brought under control yesterday evening.

    Erris-based FG Councillor Gerry Coyle has praised the local community for assisting the fire services in bringing the blaze under control, and he's pleading with people not to heedlessly throw away cigarette butts....

  • The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued advice to farmers and their advisors in relation to agricultural and eligible forestry land which is burnt during the closed season – that is 1 March to 31 August.

    The Department has now activated its Fire Danger Rating System for the season.

    Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning.  It is also more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside as such activity will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources.

    The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.

    The Department has also reminded farmers of the negative consequences of burning land illegally.

    If you burn land after the 1st March:

    -there is a risk of prosecution,

    -such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes,

    -inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, for example Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme,

    -illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment, and

    -where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials

  • The Department of Agriculture is warning of a scam, where farmers are receiving phone calls from a person purporting to represent the Department, and seeking bank details.

    The person says they need the details to offer refunds or seek due payments.

    The Department says their staff never seek bank details or any other personal information by phone or text message.

    Anyone receiving such a phone call is urged not to share their information.

    If they do provide personal information in response to a fraudulent call, they should contact their bank or credit card company immediately, and alert Gardai.



  • The Department of Agriculture is warning of the risk of Avian Influenza in Ireland's poultry sector, following an outbreak of Low Pathogenic AI in England.

    The outbreak was confirmed in a flock of 27,000 commercial chickens in Suffolk.

    All poultry owners are urged to maintain vigilance during the high-risk period, which in Ireland is from October onwards, due to the arrival of migratory wild birds.

    The Department says it's important for poultry owners to maintain vigilance in relation to biosecurity, prevent contact with wild birds and report any suspicious clinical signs to their vet or the Department.


  • A scuffle broke out this morning between beef farmers and the boss of Meat Industry Ireland outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

    The angry scenes came ahead of the first meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce - which was set up following the dispute which led to blockades at dozens of meat factories - including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    The talks haven't started because farmers stopped MII's representatives getting into the building.

    They say the taskforce shouldn't meet until all legal threats against farmers are lifted.


    However, Cormac Healy from Meat Industry Ireland insists the legal threats against farmers have been dropped.

  • IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said the first batch of 130 appeals of the ANC Review has been sent to the Independent Panel. 

    The Panel was set up to deal with areas that were either taken out or those trying to get in for the first time.  1,500 individual appeals have been lodged.

     Speaking following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise, IFA is urging farmers who have not yet appealed to do so immediately as the closing date is next Monday, Apr 8th. He also called on the Department to make contact with all appellants and to send them the information relevant to their townland.

     IFA is advising all farmers, including the 4,000 who qualify for the first time, as well as those who lost out, to tick the ANC box on the 2019 BPS online application form.

     The ANC scheme supports nearly 100,000 farmers, and is worth €250m in 2019 following the Budget increase last October.

  • A new telephone helpline has been opened today, to assist farmers with their queries in relation to Covid-19 restrictions.

    Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has put in place a dedicated helpline for farmers to seek advice so they can continue to fulfill their essential role in maintaining the food supply chain.

    The helpline number is 076 - 106 4468 and will be open Monday to Fridays during office hours.


  • An orange Forest Fire Warning has been issued by the Department of Agriculture.

    The warning has been issued due to the high temperatures and low humidity levels being forecast over the coming days.

    It will remain valid 12pm on Friday.

    Fire risk is likely to be highest in western parts of the country, and areas where gorse, heather, dried grasses and other dead vegetation exist.



  • As the hot weather continues, a Condition Red Forest Fire Danger notice has been issued at the Department of Agriculture.

    Condition Red is the highest level, and is rare in Ireland.

    The Department is also highlighting the extreme danger to resources and public safety arising from vegetation fires, especially gorse, and particularly near heavily-populated areas.

    They're warning that upland fires can be expected to cover extensive areas and may potentially give rise to Major Emergency situations.

    Fires at this time of year can also have a devastating impact on wildlife and habitats.

    The Department is urging forest owners to act immediately to implement fire prevention plans, and be prepared for the likelihood of fire outbreaks on or near their property.

    Landowners and manager should ensure that the use of open fires, barbeques and other potential ignition sources does not take place in forest lands or other public areas during the current heatwave.

    The farming community are also asked to be vigilant using machinery around hay meadows, and refrain from the use of fire on cultivated farmland.


  • A red forest fire warning is currently in place across Ireland.

    The Department of Agriculture  says under extreme fire risk conditions, fires will start and spread easily with real threats to nature, property and life.

    The alert will remain in place until midday tomorrow.

    The Department of Agriculture says that, based on recent fire incidents, most appear to be associated with deliberate ignitions in areas where active turf cutting or illegal waste dumping is taking place.