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Avoid touching dead or dying birds in Caithness forests, says government agency


By David G Scott

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After suspected avian flu discoveries in Caithness were highlighted this week, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is advising all visitors to its forest destinations to avoid touching dead or apparently dying birds.

The call comes in response to increasing numbers of reports of dead birds being found across Scotland from locations as far apart as Caithness, Shetland, Dumfries and Aberdeenshire.

FLS wildlife ecologist, Kenny Kortland, said: “We have already found a number of dead seabirds at Tentsmuir forest that are suspected avian flu cases and we expect that it will not be the only visitor destination that we look after where this will occur.

Forestry and Land Scotland is advising all visitors to its forest destinations to avoid touching dead or apparently dying birds. Picture: FLS
Forestry and Land Scotland is advising all visitors to its forest destinations to avoid touching dead or apparently dying birds. Picture: FLS

“It is very important that people do not touch dead or dying birds, and that they keep their dogs away from them as well. Avian flu is extremely contagious amongst birds and while transmission to humans is very rare, it is important the we all do what we can to prevent assisting the spread of the disease.”

Anyone finding dead birds that they think might have succumbed to avian flu should immediately notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at: www.gov.uk/guidance/contact-apha#scotland-apha-field-services

Related article:

Suspected avian flu outbreak – carnage on Dunnet beach as over 100 dead seabirds counted


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