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Aberdeenshire Council urges public to report sightings of dead birds as suspected avian flu cases continue to rise

Aberdeenshire Council is urging the public to remain vigilant as a significant number of sea birds have died. Picture by Paul Glendell.
Aberdeenshire Council is urging the public to remain vigilant as a significant number of sea birds have died. Picture by Paul Glendell.

Aberdeenshire Council has pledged to remove dead birds “as quickly as possible” as avian flu continues to wreak havoc on north-east beaches.

As the summer holidays get under way and families begin visiting beaches more frequently, the local authority is urging the public to remain vigilant.

Dozens of dead birds with suspected bird flu have been spotted along shorelines across the north-east.

Last week, more than 40 dead sea birds were counted along a stretch of Balmedie Beach, including gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes and gulls.

There have also been sightings of sick and dead birds in areas including Cruden Bay, Cowie and St Cyrus Nature Reserve.

Aberdeenshire Council is asking the public to assist with efforts by reporting any potential cases to them.

Dead gannets were scattered across Balmedie Beach. Picture by Paul Glendell.

Any reported cases of deceased birds will be removed from the area as quickly as possible, while fully-trained staff from landscape services will prioritise removing birds from more popular areas.

Warning signs will be installed at locations where bird flu has been reported, and teams will be put in place to monitor the areas.

Who to call if you spot a sick or dead bird?

The council has stressed the beaches remain safe and the risk of human transmission is low.

Despite this, people are being advised not to touch any dead or sick wild birds and to keep dogs and any other pets away from them.

Dozens of sea birds were washed up in Cowie. Picture by Wullie Marr / DC Thomson.

The council has also warned the public to avoid touching wild bird feathers or surfaces covered in droppings and is asking people not to feed wild waterfowl.

If anyone comes across a grouping of 10 or more dead birds, they should call Aberdeenshire Council’s dedicated phoneline on 01467 537444.

Any dead birds should also be reported to Defra’s national helpline on 03459 335577.

The council advises that the Scottish SPCA should be contacted for any living but sick birds on 03000 999999.

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