Farmers are being warned to be vigilant after a case of bird flu was confirmed in a wild bird in Co Wexford.

The Department of Agriculture said the avian influenza subtype H5N8 was discovered in the wild bird in Co Wexford on Wednesday. 

The wild duck, a wigeon, was found alive but unable to fly in Wexford Town.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that although the H5N8 subtype can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds, no human infections with this virus have been reported worldwide.

The Department said the finding is not unexpected given the detection of highly contagious H5N8 in wild birds in Britain in the last two weeks.

The discovery comes a week after the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, introduced regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring the compulsory housing of poultry as a result of the increased threat, said the Department in a statement.

"Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Britain and mainland Europe," said the statement.

"The results of these tests will not be available until the middle of next week," added the statement.

The Department said flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds, and to report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.