Another bird flu epidemic has left a pond like a horror scene as nearly thirty swans perished.
Liden Lagoon in Swindon, Wiltshire, is the most recent waterway to be impacted by the avian sickness that is spreading the United Kingdom.
Photos of the scene depict scores of dead swans in the lake and on the shore.
Locals claim that bodies began to surface on Saturday, October 22, and they rushed to Facebook to demand action.
One observer stated, “There must have been over twenty swans, many of which had been there since last Saturday.”
The RSPCA and DEFRA said they retrieved 30 dead birds, 29 swans, and one pigeon within two hours of being contacted last Thursday.
Despite the removal of the dead birds, pedestrians and members of the general public have been warned to avoid the area.
The local rangers have also posted signs imploring members of the public to notify Thames Water of any other fatalities.
The country is currently experiencing the greatest outbreak of avian flu in its history. In October, a “Avian Influenza Prevention Zone” was declared nationwide.
Despite an increase in bird mortality in south Gloucestershire in recent weeks, the only previously confirmed cases of bird flu in the region occurred two weeks ago at adjacent Shaftesbury Lake.
A representative for Thames Water stated, “We confirmed a substantial number of swan deaths at Liden Lagoon in Swindon.”
Our pollution control center was called on Thursday morning regarding the birds, and we responded within two hours.
Additionally, we alerted DEFRA and the RSPCA, whose teams arrived shortly after ours.
Once fatalities were confirmed, we removed both dead and living birds infected with bird flu.
We will do daily checks to monitor the situation, and if we discover any further dead or frightened birds, we will return to the spot to remove them.
In response to the ‘Covid of the chicken business,’ farmers have been urged to keep their flocks confined to avert ‘catastrophic’ outbreaks.
Farmers are killing their turkeys early to prevent them from contracting the H5N1 virus and ensure that they will be available on December 25 in response to a widespread illness that poses a risk of turkey shortages at Christmas.
The Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs ordered on November 7 that birdkeepers must house their flocks “until further notice.”
The legislative requirement is a response to the ‘rapid increase’ of avian influenza outbreaks among farm and backyard birds in the United Kingdom, which has recorded 80 cases so far this month.
Bird flu outbreak: Everything you need to know
What exactly is it?
The bird flu is an infectious form of influenza that is transmitted between birds.
Rarely, it can be spread to people through close contact with an infected bird, whether it is alive or dead.
This involves coming into contact with diseased birds, their droppings, or their bedding. People can also contract avian influenza if they kill or prepare infected birds for consumption.
Wild birds serve as vectors, particularly during migration.
As they congregate to reproduce, the virus spreads swiftly and is transferred to other regions of the world.
More than 60 species of shore birds, waders, and waterfowl, such as plovers, godwits, and ducks, migrate to Alaska to breed and interbreed with migratory birds from the Americas. Others travel west, infecting European species.
Which pathogen is presently spreading?
Since September 2021, the new virus has been found in approximately 80 million birds and poultry worldwide, which is double the previous record from the previous year.
Not only is the virus rapidly spreading, but it is also killing at an extraordinary rate, leading some specialists to conclude that this is the most lethal strain to date.
Millions of hens have been slaughtered in the United Kingdom, and in November of last year, the poultry industry was placed on lockdown, severely impacting the availability of free-range eggs.
Can it spread to humans?
Yes, but only 864 people from 20 countries have been infected with H5N1 since 2003.
The risk to individuals has been assessed as “minimal.”
However, people are strongly cautioned not to contact sick or dead birds because the virus is fatal, killing 53% of those it infects.