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Bird flu reaches region

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By Fiona Reid
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Bird flu reaches region

AVIAN flu has been confirmed in wild birds on the Solway.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have identified the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1.

It comes after the team at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve reported finding lots of dead birds, mainly barnacle geese and whooper swans, in the area around the Solway.

In a statement they said: “Wild birds can carry several diseases that are infectious to people, so do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Please follow guidance you will find on the signage on the reserve.

“The reserve staff are carrying out the monitoring and reporting on the reserve.”

Members of the public finding a dead or sickly bird or birds in the region should report them to Defra’s national telephone helpline: 03459 33 55 77.

Public health advice is that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers, and that cooked poultry products, including eggs are safe to eat.

A UK wide Avian Influenza Prevention Zone has been in place since November 3, further information can be found on the Scottish Government website.

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