Deadly bird flu appears to be taking over the UK after several areas have been closed off over the last 48 hours due to hundreds of birds being found dead.
The spread, which has worried scientists worldwide, has now taken hold of Linjoy Wildlife Sanctuary in Derbyshire, Albert Village Lake in Ashby Woulds, and the Upton Warren Nature Reserve in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Hundreds of birds were found dead across all three areas, with 65 black-headed gulls killed in the latter area.
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Despite the mass-deaths, a spokesman for the Bromsgrove beauty spot said: “No birds are set to be culled and we have no intention of closing the reserve.
“We will continue to inform people and report any cases.
“We are lucky that we have a network of volunteers they are going to remain vigilant and report cases.”
However, birds at the popular tourist destination in Asby Woulds are not so lucky.
A statement from the National Forest said that many birds had symptoms of the deadly virus and had been “removed” from the site.
The site had been closed in order to “prevent the spread of the disease”.
And while no specific number of dead birds had been reported by officials at the Linjoy Wildlife Sanctuary, staff had claimed that birds were “literally dropping from the sky,” the BBC reports.
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A spokesman said: “It is absolutely heart breaking and at its current rate, it is likely to affect this year's breeding season.
"We are currently liaising with the National Forest rangers to work out a plan to remove dead and sick birds in order to try and slow the spread of the virus between the gulls and other birds and animals that call the lake home.”
According to new UK Government statistics, there have been 182 confirmed cases of the H5N1 strain of the virus since October 1, 2022, while another 286 cases in total if you go back to October 2021.
And in a further update given today (May 4), a spokesman for the Government said that one of the exclusion zones in Cumbria had been lifted.
However, they added: “You cannot vaccinate poultry or most captive birds against bird flu in England.
“Defra continues to invest in bird flu research and monitors the situation globally.
“We work with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to monitor the development of vaccines for birds.”
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