Cases of bird flu are reportedly decreasing after clean up crews have removed more than 1,000 bird carcasses from Aberdeenshire shorelines.
Teams led by Aberdeenshire Council’s landscape services section and supported by volunteers, have been removing dead birds from north-east coasts since the beginning of July.
The “major co-ordinated approach” appears to have led to a marked decrease in reported cases of avian influenza.
Shorelines cleared include sites from St Cyrus through areas such as Stonehaven, Newburgh, Cruden Bay and Macduff.
More than 1,000 birds have now been collected and disposed of, with over 120 birds removed from Cruden bay in just one day.
Aberdeenshire Council has thanked those carrying out the “unpleasant yet critical task” and those in communities whose reporting has helped aid the response.
Aberdeenshire beaches remain safe
With the recent warm weather affecting the north-east, the public are reminded that beaches remain safe to enjoy and threat of transmissions to humans is still very low.
Gordon Buchanan, protective services manager, said: “On behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, I would like to thank all our teams for their rapid and efficient response, and particularly to all those frontline personnel who have done a tremendous job under very challenging circumstances clearing our beaches of these dead seabirds.
“Although we are now seeing a distinct reduction in the number of reported sightings, there are still some birds being washed up along our coastline.
“We will remain vigilant over the weeks and months to come and will respond to further sightings, but for now we have ensured that our beaches remain relatively clear and safe for everyone to enjoy this summer.”
During this time, NatureScot is asking the public to behave responsibly by following safety advice and to avoid walking through seabird colonies. This is to allow colonies the best chance of survival and recovery.
Sightings of groups of 10 or more birds should still be reported using the dedicated phoneline on 01467 537444.