Confirmed Bird Flu amongst Black-headed Gulls at Priory Country Park

A swan on Priory Country Park, Bedford

In the last few weeks over 100 dead Black-headed Gulls have been removed from Priory County Park, Bedford. So far, other species of birds have not been affected.

The cause of death for these birds has now been confirmed as H5N1 bird flu by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Tom Wootton, elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, said, “We have been made aware of a large number of dead Black-headed gulls at Priory Country Park and now have confirmation that these deaths are due to bird flu.

“This is especially concerning at this crucial time when gulls should be raising their young. We currently have no plans to close Priory Country Park but do ask members of the public not to touch any dead birds they see and to report them to Defra.”

Black-Headed Gulls have suffered high mortality rates due to bird flu across the country this year.

H5N1 bird flu is a disease that is spread between wild birds and has caused the worst bird flu outbreak ever seen in Europe.

Find the latest bird flu (avian influenza) situation in England on GOV.UK at

DEFRA encourages the public to report sightings of certain wild bird deaths using their online reporting tool, this can be found at, there is also a helpline, 03459 33 55 77.

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