Extremely Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N1) has hit Irish seabird colonies this breeding season after operating rampant by related colonies within the UK earlier this yr. The illness, which might infect a variety of chicken species, seems to have hit breeding Gannet colonies notably exhausting.
Gannets, our larges seabird, nest in dense colonies on uninhabited offshore islands numbering tens of hundreds of birds. Sadly these mass gatherings, with birds crammed in shut proximity, present an excellent setting for transmission of a virus like H5N1 . There are three most important gannet breeding colonies in Eire: a big colony on Nice Saltee off the Wexford coast, a a lot smaller colony on the Bull Rock off the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and one of many world’s largest Gannet colonies on Little Skellig, off County Kerry, which hosts virtually 30,000 pairs of this iconic seabird every summer season.
Seabirds, wildfowl (geese, geese and swans) and extra
Lifeless and dying Gannets are being reported from round Irish coasts this yr, together with another seabirds like Guillemots and Razorbills in smaller numbers. However it isn’t simply seabirds which can be affected by H5N1 — any chicken that comes into contact with different contaminated birds might catch and carry the illness. Wildfowl (geese, geese and swans) and birds of prey are notably prone, as are birds like corvids (the crow household) that would come into contact with the illness by scavenging contaminated carcasses.
Up to now there have been no reported circumstances in Eire regarding backyard birds, that are extremely unlikely to return into direct contact with vectors of the illness. The chance posed by feeding your backyard birds is taken into account minimal.
Whereas H5N1 is predominantly an avian illness, and solely spreads simply by chicken populations, some mammals, together with people in very uncommon circumstances, could also be prone to an infection.
What must you do in the event you discover a sick chicken
Though the danger of the illness passing from a wild chicken to a human host is extraordinarily low, authorities advocate that most people keep away from all contact with sick or lifeless wild birds right now.
- DO NOT TOUCH sick or lifeless wild chicken
- DO NOT try to assist sick wild birds, carry them dwelling, or take them to an animal rescue centre
- DO NOT permit pets to method sick or lifeless wild birds. Hold canines on a lead in areas the place lifeless or sick birds are current.
- DO report any lifeless or sick seabirds, wildfowl (geese, geese or swans), corvids (crows) and birds of prey by the Official Division of Agriculture net portal here.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to name the Division’s Avian Influenza hotline to report potential circumstances of the illness on 01 6072512 throughout workplace hours or 01 4928026 outdoors workplace hours.
Different Irish Avian Influenza Sources
Beneath you’ll discover hyperlinks to different Irish Avian Influenza sources on the internet — we’ll maintain this checklist up to date as we uncover related new hyperlinks:
- Avian Influenza replace from Birdwatch Eire
- Avian Influenza Public Discover from the Nationwide Parks and Wildlife Service
- Avian Influenza Public Security Info from the Division of Agriculture, Meals and the Marine
- Avian Influenza basic info on Gov.ie