Warwickshire council chiefs issue bird flu advice to residents - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire council chiefs issue bird flu advice to residents

COUNCIL chiefs have issued advice on what Warwickshire residents should do if they find a dead wild bird.

The timely advice, from Warwickshire County Council (WCC), comes as the UK experiences a significant avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak.

The public is encouraged to report dead wild birds to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

People are warned not to touch or pick up dead or visibly sick birds and are reminded that wild birds are susceptible to a range of diseases and injuries. Not all dead birds will have been infected with bird flu.

Calls to the helpline about dead wild birds are triaged and not all birds will be collected.

However, alerting Defra will enable them to monitor the spread of the disease in the wild bird population and help prevent kept birds at farms and smallholdings from being infected.

If dead wild birds are not needed for avian influenza surveillance purposes and landowners have taken the decision to remove carcasses, it is the landowner’s responsibility to safely arrange disposal of the carcasses.

If dead birds are on public land it is the local authority’s responsibility to arrange disposal of the bodies where removal is warranted.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

The Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Keepers of birds – such as chickens and geese – now have a legal requirement in Great Britain to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of avian flu. For more information and advice visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/farming/animal-health-advice/2

Further advice on all aspects of bird flu is available on GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu


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