Leave the collection of dead seabirds to us, urges Aberdeenshire Council

Efforts to remove larger numbers of dead seabirds suspected of having Avian Influenza have continued apace this week, with around several hundred collected from our shorelines in recent days.

The council have cleared hundreds of dead seabirds over the last few days.
The council have cleared hundreds of dead seabirds over the last few days.

Kitted out in full PPE, frontline teams have been carrying out this work, and they are thanked for their continuing efforts.

A key part of the success in clearing the carcasses has been the reporting of cases by the public.

However, the council had more instances of volunteers bagging dead birds and leaving them in publicly-accessible areas for staff to collect.

The council has to follow specific procedures for the safe disposal of these birds and while the risk of infection to humans remains low, exposure to large numbers of birds increases that risk considerably.

So while the public’s concern and willingness to help is appreciated, it is best to leave the birds in-situ for the local authority's trained teams who are responding quickly to mass cases and monitoring affected areas.

Members of the public are being asked to continue to report suspected cases to both Defra on 03459 335577 and, if you come across groupings of 10 or more dead birds, contact the council’s own dedicated phoneline on 01467 537444.

Again, please be assured that the 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 (see story opposite).

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/