Beaches and bird flu
1 minute read
A bird flu (avian influenza) outbreak is affecting seabirds and other birds in the UK right now. If you’re heading to the beach this summer and see a sick or dead bird, here’s what to do.
Although bird flu is unlikely to be passed to humans, it’s highly transmissible between birds and can be deadly to them and other wildlife and animals. If you're visiting a public beach and see a dead bird, or one that looks as though it may be infected, please don’t touch it. Instead, there are several things you can do:
- If you suspect a bird has bird flu, you must report it to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
- If you find a dead wild bird, call the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (England, Scotland or Wales).
- If you find dead wild birds in Northern Ireland, please ring the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) helpline on 0300 200 7840.
How to spot bird flu
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is the more serious type of bird flu and is often fatal in birds. Some of the main symptoms that will show in an infected bird include:
- swollen head
- closed and excessively watery eyes
- incoordination and loss of balance
- head and body tremoring
- drooping of the wings and/or dragging of legs
- several birds affected in the same space
For a full list of symptoms, visit the Government webpage on avian influenza.