Bird flu tests on two more swans
Saturday 12 January 2008
Tests were continuing last night on birds found close to the reserve where three wild swans have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.
Restrictions on the movement of captive birds are to remain in place following the discovery of the dead swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery, an open reserve in the Chesil Beach area of Dorset, during routine surveillance.
Routine tests were being carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on two birds found at or near the reserve.
A Defra spokesman said: "As soon as results are available, they will be published."
One of the two birds was found in the same nesting area at Abbotsbury where the first three swans were discovered, while the second was found about three miles away. It is possible that it hit power lines, the swannery said. Two other dead swans were also found miles apart at opposite ends of a lagoon, John Houston, the general manager at Abbotsbury Tourism, said. This meant it was "less likely" that the birds had infected each other.
Mr Houston added: "It's not unusual for birds to die in the winter of natural causes. In fact, there are fewer dying at the moment than normal because it's quite warm." An average of 20 to 30 swans usually died in January.
David Wheeler, a swan herder, said: "There's no reason to worry. But having said that, we could lose one or two more, you can't predict. We know swans can be susceptible."
The Government's acting chief veterinary officer, Fred Landeg, said: "Our message to all bird-keepers, particularly those in the area, is that they must be vigilant, report any signs of disease immediately, and practise the highest levels of biosecurity."
The public can help the effort by reporting any incidents, such as large numbers of sick birds, to the helpline on 08459 335577.
Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
Cornwall hotter than California? British sea temperatures hit all-time high
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Wisborough Green becomes the first village in Britain to fight off fracking
- 1 Man tweets about bad service, gets kicked off plane, told to delete tweet before re-boarding
- 2 Crash victims in car flattened by shipping container emerge with just minor injuries
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 Exclusive: David Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...