The government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed a number of cases of avian influenza (bird flu) in the wild bird population of Huntingdonshire, centred on the River Great Ouse.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public's health is very low. However, it is vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses.
We therefore urge park users, runners and dog walkers to avoid touching any sick or dead wild birds, including bird droppings, in the district as a precaution. Anyone who has been in direct touching contact with visibly sick or dead birds should practice good hygiene by washing their hands immediately and following the NHS guidance below.
The District Council remains in contact with Defra to manage the situation efficiently and effectively.
If you have found a dead bird in a park or open space
- If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Huntingdonshire District Council Customer Service team on 01480 388640 for safe removal and disposal. Do not touch the bird.
If you have found a dead or sick wild bird in your garden or on private land
- You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find:
- one or more dead bird of prey or owl
- 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks)
- 5 or more dead birds of any species.
- Further information on the government's website may be helpful to you.
If you have found and touched a sick or dead bird:
We advise that anyone who has been in contact with a sick or dead wild birds or their droppings, should practice good hygiene and follow NHS recommendations and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water.
Poultry, captive birds and bird keepers
Anyone who keeps poultry, captive birds or bird keepers should consider taking extra precautions, including keeping their birds indoors or taking appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds
The RSPCA has provided a simple guide to help backyard flock keepers and bird keepers to protect their birds from bird flu. It is important to be vigilant for any signs of disease - if you are concerned about your birds' health or suspect Avian Influenza, please contact your vet immediately.
Register your birds
You should register your poultry, even if only kept as pets, so we can contact you during an outbreak. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 or more birds. Poultry includes chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pigeon (bred for meat), partridge, quail, guinea fowl and pheasants.
Register for disease alerts
To receive immediate notification of new cases and details of disease control and prevention zones in GB, sign up to the APHA’s Animal Disease alert subscription service. View further information about the APHA animal disease alerts.
Support for the farming community
Defra works in partnership with farming help organisations to support their work to help the farming community through challenging times.