Council issues further warning after more dead wild birds found in Hartlepool
Residents and visitors to Hartlepool are once again reminded not to touch – or allow their dogs to touch – any dead or sick wild or sea birds which they find along the coastline or inland.
The warning comes after more dead birds have been found in Hartlepool and have tested positive for avian influenza (bird flu) in Defra’s ongoing Wild Bird Surveillance Survey across the UK.
It is a disease which must, under the law, be reported – failure to do so is an offence. Anyone who suspects any type of avian flu in poultry or captive birds must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.
People should also call the Defra helpline 03459 33 55 77 if they find:
- one or more dead bird of prey or owl
- 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
- 5 or more dead birds of any species
Providing good location information for a dead or diseased bird is particularly important and location apps such as ‘what3words’ references can be very helpful.
Tony Hanson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Director of Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, said: “Avian flu is extremely contagious amongst birds. Whilst transmission to humans is very rare, it’s important that we all do everything possible to prevent the spread of disease.
“I would ask people to please continue to be vigilant, to not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds and to keep their dogs away from them as well, and to report any concerns immediately to Defra in accordance with the Defra rules outlined above.”
For more information visit www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#public
Defra has also produced a document outlining what it is doing to reduce the risks from avian influenza in wild birds – visit www.gov.uk and search for ‘Mitigation strategy for avian influenza in wild birds in England and Wales.’