The Countryside Alliance has said that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra‘s) new online reporting system for avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds is “reassuring”.

James Aris, a spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance said today (Wednesday, December 14), that the department’s new approach to the reporting of the disease in wild bird populations will help mitigate further spread.

“Farmers, the rural community and especially gamekeepers, really are on the front line of this battle against avian influenza and are often the first to spot and report cases,” he said.

“As the disease continues to have a profound impact on our rural communities it’s reassuring to see Defra is making it quicker and simpler to report dead wild birds.

“The more we understand about the spread of avian influenza, the better we can mitigate against it in the future.”

New bird flu reporting system

The department launched the new online reporting system yesterday (Tuesday, December 13).

The new system will be available to use 24/7, with the aim of making it simpler and quicker for the public to report dead wild birds. The system will not replace the Defra helpline, which will remain in place.

The department said the service should be used to report dead wild birds if you find:

  • One or more dead birds of prey (such as an owl, hawk or buzzard);
  • Three or more dead birds that include at least one gull, swan, goose or duck;
  • Five or more dead wild birds of any species.

Defra issued a reminder to the public to never touch dead wild birds.