Council fears possible bird flu outbreak after 10 birds die at Derbyshire nature reserve

Erewash Borough Council acted immediately following the deaths of birds – swans and Canada geese – at Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve in West Hallam, near Ilkeston.

The deaths have occurred over the past two weeks and EBC is now liaising with Defra, the RSPCA and the Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards Service.

Councilor Carol Hart. The leader of Erewash Borough Council said: ‘We would like to stress that nothing has been confirmed yet, we are acting quickly in accordance with national guidelines. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep everyone updated.

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Investigations into the deaths and a possible outbreak of avian flu are ongoing. Credit: Keith Evans / Avian flu (bird flu) sign – Geography / License: https://bit.ly/3MDyAfI

“It’s such a popular site for families and it’s heartbreaking to see birds that have died. But, until we know more, I urge anyone who visits the site to refrain from feed the birds, and I support the call for dog owners to keep their pets on a leash.

Visitors to the popular site, known locally as Swan Lake, are advised to follow a few simple rules:

Please DO NOT feed the birds as this causes them to congregate and proximity could aggravate the spread of any virus.

Do not touch any dead or sick bird. Please report any sightings to the board and to Defra.

The council also called on dog owners to keep their pets on a leash in the area as sick birds will feel ill and not be able to walk away from a dog – while the animal could also be at risk of illness.

Full details on what to do if you find dead swans, geese or other wild birds can be found here – search for bird flu. Please report any dead birds on site to the council on 0115 907 22 44 and contact the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

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