Local poultry farmers remain on high alert for the risk of Avian Flu affecting their flocks. Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. Wild birds, particularly wild migratory water birds, are considered to be the main reservoir of avian influenza viruses. There is a constant risk of avian influenza being introduced into Ireland from wild birds particularly from November onwards each year as this is when migratory birds arrive and congregate on wetlands, mixing with resident species. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has urged poultry owners including backyard flock owners to be vigilant in implementing strict biosecurity on their premises, by ensuring only essential personnel, vehicles and equipment have access to their flocks and minimising contact between poultry and wild birds. Already a number of poultry farms in the area have been affected, and all the poultry had to be culled, at a serious financial loss to the farmers. Anyone who keeps poultry, even only one or two birds, in Ireland must register their premises with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.