Public Reminded to Report Dead Wildfowl to DEFRA

Following confirmation of some bird flu cases in Bedford’s wild bird population, the Council is reminding people to contact DEFRA if they spot any dead swans, geese, ducks or any other wild birds.

Avian Influenza (bird flu) spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids or faeces, or via contaminated feed, water or by dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear. It isn’t an airborne virus.

An ‘Avian Influenza Prevention Zone’ was declared across the whole of England in November, and from today all bird keepers in England are required to keep their birds indoors.

Public Health advises that the risk to public health from bird flu is very low. While some strains can pass to humans, it is very rare and requires very close contact between the human and infected birds.

Nevertheless, the public are reminded to not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds. If you find any dead wild birds such as swans, geese or ducks you should report them the DEFRA helpline on (03459) 33 55 77. There will be notices going up along the Embankment with this information and further advice.