THE Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in force across Northern Ireland was lifted at 00:01 on Friday, 02 June.

While lifting the AIPZ will be a welcome development for farmers in Northern Ireland, it remains in place for producers in Great Britain.

See also: Brazil records its first ever case of AI in wild birds

DAERA’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Robert Huey, thanked the poultry sector for its role in protecting the industry.

The measures, imposing a range of compulsory biosecurity measures on poultry flocks, were introduced on 17 October 2022.

The aim of the AIPZ was to address the risk posed by avian influenza to the poultry sector and was a vital tool in protecting flocks across NI from the disease, which was circulating in wild birds.

‘Determined efforts’

Mr Huey said: “Thanks to the determined efforts from the poultry sector in Northern Ireland to protect their flocks and minimise the impact of disease, we are now in a position to lift the AIPZ and reduce all mandatory restrictions placed on bird keepers.

“I’m sure this will be welcome news for the sector which contributes greatly to our economy and wider society.

“Although all mandatory restrictions have now been lifted, the biosecurity requirements set out for the AIPZ should still be considered good practice.

“We are urging all bird keepers, whether they have a few birds or thousands, to adhere to the guidance as much as is practically possible.

“I would also encourage all poultry and captive bird keepers to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and seek immediate advice from their vet if they have any concerns.”