What is Bird Flu?
Bird flu is a highly infectious disease that affects many
species of birds, including commercial, wild and pet birds.
Some strains of avian influenza may have the capacity to affect
other animals and humans - particularly those in close contact with
What is the Council's Role?
The Council's role is to support the
Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs (DEFRA). In the course of an outbreak,
DEFRA will co-ordinate the response
at a national and local level.
Additionally the Council will support the
Health who will lead on the Health response arising from
any pandemic illness. The Department of Health
provides support to the NHS in preparing
pandemic flu guidance. This guidance will determine the UK's
response to any pandemic incident.
In the event of a serious epidemic, the Council
will assist the Health Authorities in circulating public
information, opening flu vaccination centres at strategic points
throughout the District and being prepared to implement their mass
casualty contingency plans. The Council will also provide
information to farmers and those in rural areas, and will assist
with monitoring the spread of any outbreak.
Guidance on handling and disposing of dead garden and wild
DEFRA have good advice on what to do
if you find dead birds in your garden or in a public place.
They advise not to touch dead birds without adequate protection,
such as disposable gloves and follow strict hygiene rules.
If you find a dead swan, goose or duck or three
or more dead wild, or garden birds together in the same place,
please report this to DEFRA, via the DEFRA
Helpline on 08459 33 55 77. The current DEFRA helpline opening hours are
Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
They may wish to have the birds examined for
signs of specific diseases. They will advise you on what action you
If the dead bird is a single, small garden, or
wild bird then you do not need to call DEFRA.
I have found a dead bird in the garden. What should I
- leave it alone, or
- follow the guidelines below for
- People should follow some simple hygiene
precautions that should minimise the risk of infection. It is hard
for people to catch avian influenza from birds. The following
simple steps are also effective in reducing the risk still
If you have to move a dead bird
- Avoid touching the bird with your bare
- If possible, wear disposable protective
gloves when picking up and handling (if disposable gloves are not
available a plastic bag can be used as a make-shift
glove). When the dead bird has been picked up, the bag can be
turned back on itself and tied. It should then be placed in a
second plastic bag, tied and disposed of in the normal household
- Place the dead bird in a suitable plastic
bag, preferably leak proof. Care should be taken not to contaminate
the outside of the bag
- Tie the bag and place it in a second
- Remove gloves by turning them inside out
and then place them in the second plastic bag. Tie the bag and
dispose of in the normal household refuse bin.
- Hands should then be washed thoroughly
with soap and water
- Alternatively, the dead bird can be
buried, but not in a plastic bag
- Any clothing that has been in contact with
the dead bird should be washed using ordinary washing detergent at
the temperature normally used for washing the clothing.
Any contaminated indoor surfaces should be
thoroughly cleaned with normal household cleaner.
More information is available on
the DEFRA website.
Last Updated - 07/12/2011