Avian flu has been detected in a turkey flock in Co Monaghan, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed.

Avian Influenza H5N1 was detected in samples from the flock, and restriction zones are being set up around the area.

Additional movement control and surveillance measures will be put in place, the department said.

The highly pathogenic bird flu has already been confirmed in wild birds across the country in recent weeks.

The department said that outbreaks of avian influenza have also been identified in poultry flocks in Italy, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Estonia, Czechia, Norway, Bulgaria, Belgium and the UK since early October.

"It is important to note that there is no evidence of risk associated with consumption of poultry meat or poultry meat products," a statement said.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said that although the H5N1 subtype can cause serious disease in birds, no human infections with the virus have been reported in Europe.

It said the "risk to humans is considered to be very low".

"Notwithstanding, members of the public are, as always, advised not to handle sick or dead wild birds and to report sick or dead wild birds to the Regional Veterinary Office or contact the Department's disease hotline on 01 492 8026," said the Department of Agriculture statement.

As a result of the infections, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has introduced regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, which will require flock keepers to "confine all poultry and captive birds in their possession or under their control in a secure building, to which wild birds or other animals do not have access".

The regulations, titled 'Avian Influenza (Precautionary Confinement of Birds) Regulations 2021’, will come into force on 22 November.

An early warning system is in place with Birdwatch Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Association of Regional Game Councils, and surveillance is carried out for signs of disease in wild birds.

"Poultry flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, maintain strict biosecurity measures and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Regional Veterinary Office."

The department said it is continuing to "closely monitor and assess the disease situation" and is in regular contact with the industry and colleagues in Northern Ireland.