Bird Flu FAQs

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Avian flu is more and more common these days. See below for some general advice if you suspect a dead or sick bird is related to bird flu.

Upon finding a wild dead bird:

If you come across a single dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), a single dead bird of prey, or five or more dead wild birds of any other species (including gulls) at the same place at the same time, they should report them to Defra’s national GB telephone helpline: 03459 33 55 77.

Wild birds can carry several diseases that are infectious to people, so do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Please also ensure dogs are kept on a lead when in areas of high concentration of wild birds.

Upon finding a sick or injured wild bird:

Report an injured animal to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) in Scotland.

Telephone: 03000 999 999 – information about call charges is available.

If you suspect avian influenza in poultry or other captive birds:

Avian influenza is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by contacting your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

Other Suspicion of Cause of Death in Wild Birds:

If you find a deceased raptor/corvid that you believe to be the victim of wildlife crime, do not touch the bird. This will help preserve any evidence of a potential crime scene. Also, the dead bird may contain poisons that can be absorbed into the skin or contaminate the environment. Please contact the police on 101 and ask if the matter can be referred to a Wildlife Crime Officer. There is more information on the Police Scotland website. Alternatively, the incident can be reported anonymously to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

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