Sudbury rangers find 18 dead swans in River Stour

  • In Science
  • 2022-09-30 17:05:44Z
  • By BBC

Eighteen swans, a heron and two black-headed gulls have been found dead in a Suffolk river.

Sudbury Common Lands Charity said the birds were recovered from the Brundon Lane area of the River Stour this week.

It said it suspected bird flu and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had been told.

Defra said wild birds were susceptible to a "range of diseases and injuries" and not all dead birds would have been infected with avian influenza.

The charity said it had been a "challenging" week, amid several outbreaks of bird flu, which had led to all of Norfolk and Suffolk, and most of Essex, being put in a Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

Its ranger, Nick Shimwell, said: "We are taking it a day at a time.

"This is a new and unprecedented situation, but we have established connections with the relevant persons, so we should be able to continue to have the carcasses of dead wild birds removed from site as quickly as possible."

Members of the public have been urged to take precautions when visiting the area, including sticking to the footpaths and keeping dogs on leads.

They have also been warned not to pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds.

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Defra said some of the birds would be collected and tested to "help us understand what risk is posed to poultry and other captive birds".

According to Defra, the UK faces its largest ever outbreak of avian flu with more than 150 cases confirmed since late October 2021.

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