A white-tailed sea eagle found dead in Co Tipperary on 31 January had the "highly pathogenic strain" of avian flu, the Department of Agriculture has said.

It is the only case detected in Ireland so far, according to the department.

The strain has previously been confirmed in Great Britain and mainland Europe.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has confirmed that the risk to humans is considered to be very low.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has said that poultry meat is safe to eat, provided that it is handled hygienically while raw, and cooked thoroughly prior to consumption.

The department said it is closely monitoring the "disease situation" and it is "in consultation with the poultry industry on possible future risk-mitigating measures".

It also said it is maintaining "close contact with our counterparts in Northern Ireland on the matter".

It is vital for flock owners to apply strict bio-security measures to prevent the introduction of avian influenza, the department has advised.

"In particular flock owners should feed and water birds inside or under cover where wild birds cannot access the feed or water. Keep poultry separate from wild birds by putting suitable fencing around the outdoor areas they access," it said.

Flock owners should remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks, and report any disease suspicion to their nearest Department Veterinary Office.

The public is advised not to handle sick or dead birds, but to notify the nearest Department Veterinary Office or ring the Avian Influenza hotline on 076 106 4403 (or on 1850 200 456 outside of office hours).