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Bird flu warning to woodland visitors as Forestry and Land Scotland raises alert against touching dead or dying creatures

By Hector MacKenzie

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The warning has been issued by Forestry and Land Scotland.
The warning has been issued by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Forestry and Land Scotland is advising all visitors to its forest destinations to avoid touching dead or apparently dying birds.

The call comes in response to increasing numbers of reports of dead birds being found across Scotland from locations as far apart as Shetland, Dumfries and Aberdeenshire.

A number of coastal areas in Ross-shire have reported an increase in the number of dead birds on beaches.

FLS wildlife ecologist, Kenny Kortland, said: “We have already found a number of dead seabirds at Tentsmuir forest that are suspected avian flu cases and we expect that it will not be the only visitor destination that we look after where this will occur.

“It is very important that people do not touch dead or dying birds, and that they keep their dogs away from them as well.

“Avian flu is extremely contagious amongst birds and while transmission to humans is very rare, it is important the we all do what we can to prevent assisting the spread of the disease.”

Anyone finding dead birds that they think might have succumbed to avian flu should immediately notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

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