Disease control restriction zones have been put in place in Co. Fermanagh after the Republic of Ireland confirmed Avian Influenza H5N1 in samples from a commercial turkey flock in Co. Monaghan.

Additional protection and surveillance measures are required around the infected premises to prevent onward disease spread.

Northern Ireland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Robert Huey said: “The infected premises lies close to the Border between Monaghan and Fermanagh.

"As a consequence, DAERA is required by law to take appropriate disease control measures to mitigate for onward disease spread.

"Disease control zones were therefore declared [from 5.30pm on November 13] in that part of Northern Ireland which lies within 10km of the infected premises.

“Premises within the zones will have to adhere to strict biosecurity protocols, recording movements on/off holdings, and [have] a requirement to seek licensing for any movement of poultry or poultry-related products into or out of the zone.

“Certain moves will be permitted under a specific licence issued by the Department which must be applied for at least 48 hours in advance of any planned move.”

Dr. Huey added: “All flock keepers must take action now to review and, where necessary, improve biosecurity in order to prevent an incursion of the disease into our poultry flock.

"If Avian Influenza were to enter our Northern Ireland flock, it would have a devastating impact on our poultry industry, international trade and the wider economy.

"In addition, the negative financial and emotional impact on the individual farm family and business is something we have seen all too often with disease incursions, and we must do everything we can to avoid this, particularly at this time of heightened risk.

“This incursion of H5N1 into a flock in Co. Monaghan must serve as a stark reminder that Avian Influenza is already present here.

"Officials will continue to work closely with poultry keepers and the wider industry as we work together to minimise the risk of any further incursions.”

A DAERA spokesperson added: "DAERA reminds you that it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to register their birds, unless they are kept within your own home.

"This enables us to contact you with important disease information, giving you the best opportunity to protect your birds.

"You can complete the online bird registration form available at https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/bird-registration-form.

"DAERA also encourages you to sign up to the text alert service simply by texting 'BIRDS OPT IN' to 07860 098672.

"This will allow you to receive immediate notification of any important disease information, allowing you to protect your flocks at the earliest opportunity.

"Text 'BIRDS OPT OUT' to 07860 098672, to stop receiving these text messages."

Avian Influenza is a notifiable disease. Anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must, by law, report it to their local DAERA Direct Office.