University of Nebraska Medical Center

Scotland: Around 70 birds killed by flu in the last seven days

IOM Today

People are asked not to touch sick or dead birds or animals after a washed up guillemot tested positive for avian influenza.

Around 70 dead and dying seabirds have been collected by the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture on the southern and western coastline since July 11.

Samples taken from some a carcass have now confirmed at least one of the birds had the H5N1 strain, which has killed hundreds of wild sea birds in the UK in recent months.

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘The risk and impact of bird flu on wild colonies should not be underestimated – but the risk to people is low and well-cooked eggs and poultry remain safe to eat.

‘With the school holidays upon us we would just ask people to take extra care when visiting our beaches and coastal areas and steer well clear of all sick or dead marine life – as the virus is highly contagious and can be passed from birds to other animals, such as seals.’

As the virus has not been found in kept or farmed birds no restriction zones have been introduced. Bird keepers should always wash their hands and clean and disinfect footwear before tending to other animals, and if possible, keep their birds separate from wild ones.

Discoveries of multiple dead birds should be reported to DEFA on 01624 685844 or by emailing agriculture@gov.im, and people should provide as much detail as possible.

Any reports of sick or dead seals should be reported to Manx Wildlife Trust on 01624 844432 (office hours) or 07624 450879 at other times.

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