Public urged not to touch sick or dead birds

Swan on water

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have now confirmed there is avian influenza A(H5N1) in wild bird population within Bedford Borough following positive results in wild dead birds removed from the river Great Ouse on the embankment in Bedford.

Bedford Borough Council are encouraging residents to not touch any sick or dead birds and request that if they find any dead or visibly sick birds in the local area, they are not fed or touched. Instead, cases should be reported to Defra’s GB helpline by calling 03459 335577.

If you keep poultry or other birds, please wash your hands and clean and disinfect your footwear before tending to them.

Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said, “We are continuing to work with Defra on this issue. We have already set up daily inspections to identify any dead birds. We continue to respond to the reports and we will remove the birds as soon as we can.

“We do not want any residents removing or touching dead birds. They are to report them to Defra’s GB helpline by calling 03459 335577 and allow trained staff and the appropriate precautions and safe removal to take place by the authorities.”