Suspected new cases of Avian Influenza in Aberdeenshire

A number of suspected new cases of Avian Influenza which have sadly claimed a significant number of seabirds in recent days have been reported in Aberdeenshire.

Visitors and locals are being assured that while the region’s beaches remain safe and the threat of transmission to humans is very low, it is still important that they follow this safety advice:

Do not pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds Keep any pets and dogs away from any dead or sick birds Don't feed wild waterfowl Don't touch wild b ird feathers or surfaces that are contaminated with droppings

Working alongside partner agencies, Aberdeenshire Council will be installing warning signs at known locations where Avian Influenza has been reported and teams will be monitoring these areas.

Visitors and locals are urged to follow safety advice while visiting the region's coastline.

But with limited resources and a lengthy coastline, the local authority appreciates your help in identifying potential cases.

Anyone visiting Aberdeenshire’s beaches and wider coastline are being urged to remain vigilant and report any dead birds to Defra’s national helpline on 03459 335577.

The council will be aiming to have any reported cases of deceased birds removed as quickly as possible and fully-trained staff from Landscape Services will prioritise removal of birds from areas of high footfall where there is safe access.

If you come across a grouping of 10 or more dead birds please also call the council’s dedicated phoneline on 01467 537444.

If you find a live but sick bird call the SSPCA on 03000 999999.

Should anyone suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds then it must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Relevant t elephone numbers can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance

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