Notice to the Public re Avian Flu

Date Released: Thursday, July 7, 2022

From Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage 
Published on 7 July 2022
Last updated on 7 July 2022


There have been outbreaks recently of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) at selected seabird colonies in the UK, with positive cases confirmed for Scotland and the east coast of England.  So far, there have been no confirmed cases in Ireland. 

Over the past number of months, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been keeping a watching brief with a nationwide network of regional staff, contractors and other stakeholders feeding back information on seabirds from key colonies across the island.  The situation is being monitored closely and any suspected cases sent for testing.  NPWS has also been liaising with counterparts in the UK, and has been briefed on outbreaks there and measures being implemented. 

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has responsibly for avian influenza testing in Ireland.  NPWS will be one of a number of key players involved in any response to an outbreak of AI in seabirds in Ireland.  NPWS is already providing expert advice to DAFM in relation to AI and cases in wild birds.

For visitors to seabird colonies over the coming weeks, NPWS urge members of the public to keep your distance to avoid disturbing breeding seabirds and, in particular, to avoid coming into close contact with any dead/injured seabird. 

Please notify DAFM of any suspected avian influenza cases via the Avian Check App or alternatively to please call the Avian Influenza Hotline at 01 607 2512 (or 01 492 8026 outside of normal office hours).

The provision of seabird ringing licences, under Section 32 of the Wildlife Act, has been suspended due to the risk of furthering the transmission of Avian Influenza amongst Ireland’s seabird population.

Issued by: NPWS Science & Biodiversity Section