There have been recent reports of a large number of dead seabirds washing up on beaches along the east coast, with gannets, guillemots, puffins and herring gulls having been affected, from the Norfolk coast up to the Orkneys and Shetland. A highly contagious strain of avian influenza is suspected of being prevalent amongst seabirds around the coast.
DEFRA are advising that any deceased seabirds are NOT handled, and are reported to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 along with the following information:
- The location of deceased seabirds (beach, port, harbour);
- Numbers seen;
- Species identified;
- The condition of the birds, if visible (the birds should not be approached at close range);
- Photographs where possible.
Please contact Defra directly with any queries.