Posted on Friday 7th January 2022
Visitors to Chasewater Country Park are being reminded not to feed the birds to help reduce the spread of avian influenza.
The reminder follows a number of outbreaks of the disease across the country including confirmed cases found in wild birds at Chasewater.
While cases have reduced, feeding the birds may cause them to gather together and cause an increase in the disease.
For this reason, visitors to the country park are being asked not to feed any birds, to keep dogs on leads near the water and stay to the paths.
People should not touch or try to rescue sick or injured birds and should report them to the park rangers or to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577 and select option 7.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said:
“While the number of cases of avian influenza in wild birds at Chasewater has reduced, we are still finding some affected birds.
"To ensure we keep cases low, it is really important not to feed the birds at the moment.
“For those visiting Chasewater or any of our other country parks it’s really important that people follow the guidance on site.
"It may seem like a harmless activity but feeding can attract other wild birds to the area which can increase the risks of avian influenza.
“Likewise, people should not touch or try to rescue any sick birds as they could be infected.
"Anyone spotting injured or dead birds should report them to the Defra helpline.”
Officers from Staffordshire County Councils Trading Standards Animal Health team are also reminding people who keep birds and poultry that they must keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures.
The measures introduced in December apply to anyone keeping birds, whether it’s a few hens in a back garden, rearing game birds or a large commercial farm.
Further advice for bird keepers on reducing the spread of avian influenza is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.