Residents are being urged not to touch or pick up dead or sick birds after cases of avian influenza (bird flu) were detected in young gulls at Hailsham Common Pond.
Cases of avian influenza were recently discovered by residents and the Town Council’s Pond Warden, and the Council has since informed the relevant authority Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who has asked the Town Council to advise them of the number of reported cases. DEFRA however, will not be examining individual cases or removing dead birds from the site.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public from this strain is very low. However, it is important that people refrain from touching any dead or visibly sick birds and to keep dogs on a lead.
The public is advised to report any dead wild birds in any location in Hailsham – including swans, ducks, geese or gulls – to the Town Council by calling 01323 841702 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Town Council will make arrangements for any dead birds on its land and property to be removed.
For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#public
“The discovery of dead or sick birds can be distressing and the news of avian influenza cases at the Common Pond may clearly be of concern to residents,” said Town Clerk John Harrison. “While the risk of the disease transferring from birds to humans is considered to be very low, it is imperative that people do not touch any sick or dead birds. Also, we encourage people not to feed any wildfowl at the Common Pond – or indeed the Country Park lake or Wentworth Pond sites – as feeding causes them to congregate and consequently increase the risk of the disease spreading.”
Mr Harrison added: “As well as issuing an appeal for the public not to touch or move dead or sick wild birds, we are also asking dog owners to keep their pets away from them at all times.”
“We will be consistently monitoring the situation.”
Terry Hall, Communications & Public Information Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: email@example.com