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Department announces plan to remove the requirement to house poultry and other captive birds on 29th April

Department announces plan to remove the requirement to house poultry and other captive birds on 29th April

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that the legal requirement to confine/house poultry and other birds as a precautionary measure against Avian Influenza (bird flu) will be lifted from 29th April 2022.

The legislation requiring the precautionary confinement of birds was introduced on 22nd November 2021 to mitigate the risk of avian influenza in poultry. The decision to withdraw this requirement is based on a number of parameters which indicate a reducing risk of an avian influenza incursion - including the fact that no case of bird flu has been confirmed here in wild birds for a period of 4 weeks, reduced numbers of migratory waterfowl and increasing environmental temperatures and daylight hours.

Removing the requirement to confine birds means that all poultry and bird owners may allow their birds access to open areas and runs from 29th April. The Department, however, urges flock owners to remain vigilant as, notwithstanding the reduced risk, there is still the possibility of the virus being present in the environment or being transmitted to their flock by wild birds.

The Department emphasises that further enhanced biosecurity requirements that were introduced on 17th November (SI No. 593 of 2021) – the requirement to ensure that poultry or other captive birds cannot come into contact with wild birds, that all areas that poultry and captive birds have access to must be fenced and that they are restricted from access to open or permanent standing water and restrictions on the assembly of live birds for the purposes of show or sale (SI No 592 of 2021) – remain in place.

Bird owners should continue to remain vigilant, monitor their birds for any signs of disease and implement strict disease control measures. In particular, birds should continue to be fed indoors or under cover where wild birds cannot have access. For further information on enhanced biosecurity requirements can be found at:

The Department also reminds all poultry owners, including those who keep only one or two birds, of their legal obligation to register their premises with the Department. Guidance on how to register your poultry can be found at:

Further information on avian influenza can be found at:

A list of Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine offices and their contact details is available at:

Avian influenza helpline: Tel:  01 607 2512 or 01 492 8026 (outside office hours)

Wild bird app:

Notes to the editor:

How can I help prevent avian flu?

The Chief Veterinary Officer has advised that all poultry keepers, even if they only have 1-2 birds, must continue to apply enhanced biosecurity measures at all times to prevent and mitigate future outbreaks.


You can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on your premises, including:

  • Limiting the number of people who come onto the site
  • Using disinfectant foot dips when entering and exiting enclosures or houses
  • Fencing off ponds, streams, boggy areas or standing water and draining them where possible
  • Netting or covering ponds
  • Removing any wild bird feed sources
  • Deterring wild birds by regularly walking through the area or by using predator decoys
  • Cleansing and disinfecting concrete or other permeable areas
  • Putting down wood shavings in wet areas


Press and Information Office

An Roinn Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

An Teach Talmhaíochta, Sráid Chill Dara, Baile Átha Cliath 2, D02 WK12

Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 WK12

T +353 (0)1 607 2802 - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (