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Turkeys on farm close to Carlow / Wicklow border culled after bird flu outbreak

It's understood to be the first outbreak of H5N8 on a farm

A flock of turkeys at a farm close to the Carlow / Wicklow border have been culled to stop the spread of a new bird flu strain.

Up to now H5N8 has only been found in wild birds and this free-range flock near Knockananna is the first outbreak on a farm.

Agriculture authorities across Northern Europe have ordered mass culls of tens of thousands of birds since the autumn.

People aren’t at risk but Tim Cullinane, President of the Irish Farmers Association, says “We’ve seen the devastating effects this flu can have, we’ve seen it on the continent, I appeal again, it’s very important to flock owners to take heed birds that are out, you know, that they would be fed and watered indoors and maybe in the interim or short term it might be safer to keep them in just to prevent the spread of the disease”.

Vets are continuing to test samples from the farm near Knockananna while the Department of Agriculture’s imposing controls on the movement of poultry across a 3km area between Hacketstown, Tinahely and Ballygobban.