Cardiff case of bird flu is confirmed after goose found dead


Wildlife experts at Cardiff Council have asked the public to avoid touching or feeding birds at Roath Park Lake after a goose was found to have died of avian flu. 

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The body of a greylag goose was handed in to park wardens on February 24 and tests this week confirmed the H5N1 virus. A further six bird carcasses from the park were handed in this week and staff believe the same strain of flu is to blame.

Avian influenza is not unusual and is most common during the winter when it can be passed on by migrating birds arriving in the UK. It spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and faeces.  It can also be spread by contaminated feed and water, or by dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear.  

It mainly affects birds and is very uncommon for the virus to be passed from birds to humans, or other mammals. The risk to public health is very low but as a precautionary measure the Council is asking all members of the public not to hand-feed birds at any of its parks or country parks.

Last month, a swan found dead at the Knap Lake in Barry tested positive for avian flu and more than a dozen other carcasses have been reported.

If you find a dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) on 03459 33 55 77. 

Any visibly sick birds should also be reported via this number and must not be touched or handled.