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Ireland’s bird flu measures ‘sufficient’

AN expert group, which met in Dublin yesterday, has advised the Minister for Agriculture that it is not necessary to introduce the compulsory housing of domestic poultry and other birds in Ireland at present.

The group was set up last week by Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan to advise her on control measures as the threat of avian flu evolves.

Her department has set up a helpline on 1890 252283.

Ms Coughlan had requested the group to determine if the threat posed by the virus warranted the compulsory housing of domestic poultry.

She said the group had decided the measures her department had in place "are sufficient at this time."

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Mary Harney will travel to Vienna tomorrow to attend a meeting of EU health ministers on how to deal with the spread of the virus.