RSPCA no longer accepts injured seabirds due to bird flu risk

A sign on the bank of the River Thames in Windsor, Berkshire, informing people not to feed the swans because of an outbreak of bird flu.  Photo date: Monday, January 17, 2022.

A bird flu warning sign on the bank of the River Thames in Windsor, Berkshire. (Getty)

RSPCA wildlife centers are no longer accepting injured seabirds due to the spread of avian influenza in the UK.

The animal welfare institution said it had made the “devastating” decision to limit the outbreak of bird flu, which became a “serious” problem over the summer.

The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed 102 cases of bird flu in England, with two cases each in Wales and Scotland earlier this year.

The RSPCA England and Wales said people should no longer take injured seabirds, including gulls, gannets and fulmars, to their wildlife centers because of the potential risk to other animals.

He added that he would try to respond to calls about sick and injured seabirds whenever possible and deal with them compassionately and appropriately.

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Preparations for the slaughter of chickens continue at Craigies Poultry Farm near Dunfermline, Scotland, where a

Defra figures confirmed 102 cases of bird flu in England, with two cases each in Wales and Scotland earlier this year. (SHOVEL)

The RSPCA said in a statement: “Members of the public are being reminded not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds, as a highly deadly form of avian influenza disease – or avian influenza – becomes worryingly widespread in wild seabirds in the world. Great Britain. population.

“Avian flu has become a serious problem this summer and there are high levels of morbidity and mortality, particularly in seabirds around the coast.

“To help limit the spread of this terrible disease, the government and other organizations are having to euthanize many affected birds, and some wildlife rescue centers have temporarily closed their doors to high-risk wild bird admissions.”

RSPCA veterinarian Jocelyn Toner added: “It was devastating for our volunteers, veterinarians and staff – who work for the RSPCA because they love animals – to see so many birds perish from this terrible disease.

“It is now important that we follow the government’s advice and act to try to slow the spread and keep as many birds as safe as possible.”

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File photo dated 5/22/22 of Puffins flying to the Farne Islands in Northumberland as the Farne Islands will be closed to visitors from Sunday following a severe outbreak of bird flu.

Puffins are seen on the Farne Islands in Northumberland. (SHOVEL)

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The RSPCA said information on how to help young, healthy birds found outside the nest and chicks is available on its website.

When avian influenza is confirmed or suspected in poultry or other captive birds, disease control zones are established around infected premises to prevent the spread of the disease.

Within these zones, restrictions may apply to the movement of birds and materials associated with their maintenance.

There are currently two disease control zones around Bexhill and Hastings in East Sussex due to outbreaks of the disease that have seen several birds humanely culled.

There are five other disease control zones currently in place – two in Shropshire, two in Nottinghamshire and one in Derbyshire.

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