Avian flu

Avian flu is a virus that spreads between birds. Infected birds shed the avian flu virus through their saliva, mucous and droppings.

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the risk of transmission to humans and other mammals, including dogs and cats is very low.

While the risk to human health is very low, when avian flu is in circulation, we are advising you not to touch any dead or visibly sick wild birds and to avoid contact with their feathers and droppings.

If you have been in close contact with wild birds and their droppings, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You cannot catch avian flu through eating fully cooked poultry or eggs.

If you suspect bird flu in poultry or other captive birds, you must report it immediately by calling the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03000 200 301 if you are in England.

If you find dead wild birds, do not pick them up. You should report them to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) helpline on 03459 33 55 77. Reports to the Defra Helpline regarding found dead wild birds are triaged and not all birds will be collected.

Alternatively, you can report the following via the GOV.UK website

  • One or more dead birds of prey, gulls, swans, geese or ducks in the same place
  • Five or more dead wild birds of any other species in the same place

Dead birds on public land in Swindon can be reported as a dead animal.

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