Whitmore welcomes Wicklow County Council’s response to outbreak of Avian Flu

Update on Avian Flu measures

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed a commitment by Wicklow County Council to plan for an approach to manage the collection and disposal of dead birds found on public lands. The plan is being developed in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Speaking on the commitment, Deputy Whitmore says “with so many public reports of dead and dying birds in Wicklow and along the East Coast, it’s important that the relevant authorities are proactive and I very much welcome Wicklow County Council’s moves to put in place a system to manage the situation in a safe, measured and collaborative way.

“I have spoken with Wicklow County Council and they have confirmed that the Environment Section and the Health and Safety Officer are preparing protocols and will be arranging training of appropriate staff for the safe collection and disposal of any birds found on public lands. 

“They have advised that anyone who comes across a dead or dying bird to contact both Wicklow County Council and the Department of Agriculture through their app. Wicklow County Council will then arrange for collection while the Department will log the data to keep an eye on the number of dead or dying birds that are being found.

“However, the Council are only collecting and disposing of dead birds found in public spaces only, not for example, in people’s back gardens etc… Furthermore, the Council are waiting on the Department of Agriculture for further information regarding protocols which will inform them of how to respond going forward. I welcome this initiative and hope to see it rolled out effectively across the county as continue to address the issue of Avian Flu.

“Wicklow County Council have been very proactive in dealing with this outbreak. However, it does need to be a nationally coordinated response and I will continue to raise this with the Minister in the Dáil. Individual Councils should not be left to deal with this critical issue on their own” concludes Whitmore.

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