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Residents urged to report dead wild birds after confirmed bird flu

Residents are urged to alert authorities if they find a dead gull or water bird following the confirmation of a case of bird flu found in a wild bird in Earlestown.

St Helens skyline

Article date: 23rd May 2023

While there are no restrictions being introduced because this is a single case in a wild bird so not deemed an outbreak, bird owners are being reminded of the preventative measures in place to help minimise the risk to private owners which includes storing food and bedding materials away from reach of wild animals and washing shoes after walking into bird enclosures to prevent risk of spread from outside to your flock.

To find out more about the measures you can take to protect your own birds visit

Meanwhile residents are encouraged to take the following actions, particularly in and around areas where water birds can be found in the Earlestown area including:


·       Keep to the footpaths with dogs on leads

·       Do not feed wild water bird

·       Do not pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds

·       Do not touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings

If you find any wild dead birds please report them online at or call the Department for Rural Affairs (Defra) on 03459 33 55 7.

Councillor Kate Groucutt, Cabinet Member for Economy, Business and Skills, said: "We were informed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) of a confirmed case of bird flu in a wild black headed gull which was found in Earlestown last week. While this might sound concerning there are no new measures that are being introduced because this is a single case in a wild animal, which means it is not classed as an outbreak.

"The public health advice remains that the health risk to humans is low but we must always take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves. In particular anyone who owns birds are being reminded of the necessary biosecurity measures you should take to protect your birds. While guidance changed earlier this year removing the need to store flocks indoors you should continue to store food and bedding away from wild birds, and thoroughly cleaning equipment and clothing that you use which could come into contact with wild birds.

"Our team will be carrying out regular surveillance checks in key areas in the surrounding area but most importantly if you see any sick or dead wild birds please report them to the appropriate people."