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.