Bird flu outbreak – England: ‘Unprecedented tragedy for wildlife’


A major outbreak of bird flu in the uninhabited Farne Islands in north-east England has killed thousands of wild birds and threatened even more. In the nearly 100 years that the National Trust has overseen the Farne Islands, there has been no situation more “threatening to our already endangered seabird populations,” it said.

Specialists – dressed in white protective suits, gloves and masks – have already collected more than 3,000 dead birds to be burned to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, there are fears that tens of thousands of birds could fall victim to what expert Simon Lee has described as the “unprecedented tragedy of the outbreak for wildlife”. Many may also have fallen sick and dead from the cliffs into the sea.

Home to hundreds of thousands of birds
The Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland in northeastern England, are considered one of Britain’s premier nature reserves and are home to around 200,000 birds, including guillemots and puffins.

About 45,000 tourists visit the islands every year. However, since the beginning of the month, they have been closed to visitors due to the rampant bird flu. However, the risk of contracting the disease is considered low for humans. The National Trust called on the British government to intervene in the crisis. There is a need for coordinated surveillance and extensive research into the impact the outbreak could have on British wildlife.

Source: Krone


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