The Department of Agriculture has activated regulations requiring all poultry and captive birds to be kept within a secure building amid concerns over bird flu.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has issued the notice in response to the outbreak of the deadly strain in a turkey flock in England last week and in a dead wild duck in Wales earlier this week.

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 has been responsible for a number of outbreaks of disease in both wild birds and poultry in several European countries since the end of October, the department added.

The department has activated the regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 which requires flock keepers to confine all poultry and birds in a secure building which cannot be accessed by wild animals.

This is the first time the department has issued a housing order.

"Although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported world-wide and therefore risk to humans is considered to be very low," the statement continued.

An early warning system is in place with Birdwatch Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Association of Regional Game Councils.

"Poultry flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, maintain strict bio-security measures and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office," the statement added.