Published on 24 November 2021
Archived on 24 December 2021
Stratford-on-Avon District Council is reminding residents and visitors that Avian Influenza A (H5N1) is still in wild bird populations in the area and not to touch any sick or dead birds.
Together with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) the District Council is working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds.
The A(H5N1) strain is highly pathogenic to other birds, but the risk to human health is considered very low. It is vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses, and infection control measures may be necessary if they do.
Anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify the UK Health Security Agency's West Midlands Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 so that public health experts can determine if antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition is necessary. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo active surveillance.
Following a number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain, to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.
Councillor Christopher Kettle, Community Protection Portfolio from Stratford District Council, said: "The UKHSA has made it clear that the risk of the disease transferring from birds to humans is considered to be very low. To ensure this situation remains, the advice we have received is that members of the public should not touch or go near sick or dying birds and any dead birds found should be reported to the District Council on 01789 267 575 to assist with disposal. Posters remain in the affected areas asking people not to feed the ducks or swans and reminding people to keep to footpaths and to keep dogs on leads."
Anyone who sees sick wildfowl should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
If you see any dead wildfowl in the Stratford area contact Stratford District Council on 01789 267 575 in office hours or 01926 339 577 out of hours.
Anyone who sees sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please do not touch them and call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575