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Suspected outbreak of avian disease in Northern Ireland
All bird keepers are urged to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks.

Testing for avian influenza and Newcastle disease is ongoing

Government officials are calling for vigilance from bird keepers following the suspected outbreak of a ‘notifiable avian disease’ in Northern Ireland (NI).

According to a statement from NI’s department of agriculture (DAERA), 'DAERA officials are currently investigating the suspected presence of a notifiable avian disease (NAD) in a broiler breeder flock in Co. Fermanagh.'

The statement added that 'a private veterinary practitioner contacted DAERA on January 2, 2020, expressing concerns related to the increased mortality of birds at the holding.
 DAERA immediately initiated a veterinary enquiry with a divisional veterinary officer visiting the holding in the evening of 2 January 2020.'

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is currently testing samples taken from the farm. Testing for avian influenza and Newcastle disease is ongoing. 

DAERA said that officials have arranged a stakeholder meeting for Monday (6 January) where it will provide an update on the investigation and discuss the potential next steps.

'All bird keepers are urged to remain vigilant and if they suspect any signs of the disease in their flocks they must report it immediately to DAERA,' the statement continued.

'All poultry keepers, including backyard flock keepers and those keeping game birds and pet birds need to act now and maintain high levels of biosecurity at all times in order to reduce the risk of transmission of avian flu to their flocks.'

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Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

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Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.