Bird flu contingency plan in place: Minister

15-11-2006 | |

Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Food has developed comprehensive contingency arrangements to deal with avian influenza in the case of an outbreak in wild or commercial birds, according to a senior official.

Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan said that that these arrangements are constantly reviewed to take account of any new developments that arise.
“To that end, we are conscious of and particularly vigilant during the autumn/winter migratory season, during which the risk of the introduction of the disease increases,” she said.
The Minister said that she had recently signed a number of statutory instruments that give the department the necessary legislative power to deal with any bird flu cases effectively.
“In addition, my department is continuing to maintain close contact with those other State and non-State agencies on whose assistance we might rely, such as An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces, the Civil Defence and the Farm Relief Service.
“We have, at all times, received the full support and commitment of all those agencies whose assistance we have requested,” she said.
Ms Coughlan said she is satisfied that her department is adequately prepared to deal with any case or outbreak of avian flu which may arise in Ireland in the coming months.

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