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Positive Cases of Avian Flu Detected at Whitehead Beach

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, has warned local residents to take care after positive cases of Avian Influenza were detected at Whitehead Beach.

This follows positive tests for avian flu at other areas in Northern Ireland in recent weeks.

Alderman Williams said: “The Public Health Agency has advised that human infections with avian flu are rare and that the risk to the general public’s health is very low. However, it is vital to avoid touching or picking up dead or injured birds so as to avoid spreading the virus."

Mid and East Antrim Council continues to work closely with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and other stakeholders in relation to this matter.

Anybody who comes across a dead bird at Whitehead Beach is asked to report it by emailing:

If dead birds are found elsewhere in the borough, please contact the DAERA helpline at 0300 200 7840.

Anybody seeking further information is asked to contact:

**Information for Bird Keepers**

DAERA is encouraging all bird keepers (however small) to register their flocks so that they can be contacted directly with future communications and updates.

Registration is straightforward via your local DAERA Direct office or online through the DAERA website.

Flock keepers can also sign up to the text alert service simply by texting 'BIRDS' to 67300 to receive immediate notification of any important disease information which will help to protect flocks at the earliest opportunity.

The current guidelines from the Public Health Agency are as follows:

  • do not pick up or touch sick, dying or dead poultry or wild birds, and keep pets away from them;

  • avoid contact with surfaces contaminated with bird faeces;

  • avoid touching bird feathers and other bird waste; and,

  • maintain good personal hygiene with regular hand washing with soap and use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

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