Seagulls found dead in Port Erin not linked to bird flu

Friday 21st January 2022 12:00 pm
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Geese Photo: Isle of Man Government

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There have been no new reports of avian influenza in the island since the first cases on Sunday.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture has responded to a report that a number of birds were found dead on Port Erin beach.

The chief vet has been able to confirm that there were three gulls found dead, and collected them safely from the site.

A spokesperson for DEFA said: ’Due to the location and condition of the birds it is unlikely that their death is connected to the avian influenza outbreak. The department is grateful for the report of the birds and would encourage people to continue to report sightings of any dead birds, but are reminded not to touch them.’

Last week, 11 geese were found dead near a pond in Sulby by a bird keeper and this was later confirmed as a case of bird flu.

It’s the first time the H5N1 virus, which is highly contagious amongst birds, has been recorded in the island.

An all-island surveillance zone has been introduced as a result.

Currently, DEFA is advising people to house all birds and not to move them and not to touch sick or dead birds.

It’s also asking the public not to feed any wild birds as it encourages birds to congregate and mix, which increase the risk of them passing the virus to each other.

DEFA has said local poultry and eggs remain safe to eat. Bird flu can spread quickly among birds and in rare cases, can affect people, but it can’t be caught from eating well-cooked poultry products.

The government has urged people to contact its animal health team on 685844 or [email protected] if they have any concerns or have spotted a sick or dead bird.

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