Challenging time as Avian Influenza clean-up continues in Aberdeenshire

It has been a very challenging week for our Landscape Services staff who have been undertaking the removal of dead seabirds from the many shorelines around Aberdeenshire.

Kitted out in full PPE, these frontline teams have been carrying out the safe removal of hundreds of birds which, it is suspected, carry Avian Influenza, and we thank them for all their continuing efforts.

At Cruden Bay alone, more than 120 birds were removed from the beach over the course of a day.

Thanks also go to a number of the council’s own staff from various services who have come forward and volunteered to assist with future collections as and when required.

The council's Landscape Services staff are continuing to remove dead seabirds suspected of carrying Avian Influenza from our shorelines.

There have also been reports of people trying to assist in the clean-up by burying or binning bird carcasses, but please – for your own safety - leave the disposal to the council.

Thanks to the very supportive residents and community groups who have been reporting sightings, staff were able to quickly map out and prioritise removal of the birds and they will be getting to all these areas just as soon as they can.

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Residents are urged to continue that vital reporting – both to Defra on 03459 335577 and, if you come across groupings of 10 or more dead birds, the council’s dedicated phoneline on 01467 537444.

Again, please be assured that beaches are still safe to enjoy this summer and the threat of transmission to humans is very low.

But remember to follow this safety advice at all times:

• Do not pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds

• Keep pets/dogs away from any dead or sick birds

• Don't feed wild waterfowl

• Don't touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with droppings

If you find a live but sick bird call the SSPCA on 03000 999999 for advice – however please note that due to the current situation you should not bring any wild birds to their animal rescue and rehoming centres.

If you keep poultry or other birds, it is vital that you wash your hands and clean and disinfect your footwear before tending to your birds.

For more details on avian influenza, visit www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/