Latest weekly bird/poultry flu update from Defra – for what it’s worth

This week’s woefully inadequate update of bird/poultry flu in wild birds from Defra shows positive cases in seabirds (Gannet, Great Skua, Guillemot, Puffin, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull), some swans and geese and another White-tailed Eagle.  The positive records come from Shetland to the south coast of England.  Little can be drawn from these reports because they are only of dead birds, and only a very small sample – no systematic  monitoring of avian corpses is done.

At Hen Harrier Fest (see here) on Sunday I chatted to some raptor workers from England who were not happy – ‘I’m not happy’ one of them said!  Why not? They aren’t happy about the lack of communication from Defra and Natural England on the two Hen Harriers that were reported as testing positive for bird flu. They said they’ve had no news on where these birds were or whether they were adults or chicks.  And no advice on how volunteer raptor workers should treat any corpses they find. And these are volunteers who are on the moors doing work for the public good. I can see why they aren’t happy.

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