Zoo moves some flocks indoors amid bird flu fears

Zoo moves some flocks indoors amid bird flu fears

Belfast Zoo has moved some species of birds into enclosed areas in a bid to protect against bird flu.

“Additional precautions” have also been taken to stop wild bird entering into any of its enclosures ion a bid to stop transmission.

A spokesperson said: “Belfast Zoo follows strict biosecurity measures as required by the Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”

The move comes as Dublin Zoo and Fota Wildlife Park in Cork  also moved birds indoors.

Visitors to Dublin Zoo will not be able to see the Humboldt penguin, Chilean flamingo, waldrapp ibis, ostrich, little egret, peafowl, citron-crested cockatoo or the Indian runner duck, according to Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

Last month, Fota Wildlife Park announced it was housing its Humboldt penguins and blue-throated macaws and closing its duck feeder.

There have been several outbreaks of avian flu across the UK and Ireland in recent weeks, leading to culls of some commercial flock.

While extremely rare, some strains of bird flu can pass from birds to people and earlier this month  it was confirmed that a person living in the south-west of England had caught bird flu – the first human case in the UK.

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was put in place across Great Britain on November 3 last year and the same measure was introduced in Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland on November 17.