The government is reminding people not to touch sick or dead birds after another positive case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in a wild seabird earlier this week.

More than 300 dead birds, including seagulls, guillemots and gannets, have been collected from local beaches by the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture since July 11.

Although it is not feasible to test all the birds, all five of the samples sent to the UK for testing have come back positive for the H5N1 strain, which has killed hundreds of sea birds in the UK in recent months

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture said: 'People should take extra care when visiting coastal areas and avoid contact with sick or dead marine life – as the virus is contagious and can be passed from birds to other animals, such as seals.

'The risk to people remains low and well-cooked eggs and poultry are safe to eat.'

No restriction zones have been introduced as the virus has not been found in kept or farmed birds.

DEFA added that keepers should always wash their hands and clean and disinfect footwear before tending to other animals, and if possible, keep their birds separated from wild ones.

Discoveries of multiple dead birds should be reported to DEFA on 01624 685844 or by emailing [email protected], including as much detail as possible.