Avian flu outbreak in Stratford kills two swan cygnets
AN outbreak of avian flu has killed two swan cygnets on the River Avon.
Cyril Bennis, who is the swan carer in Stratford-upon-Avon, said: “We are on a state of high alert, things are critical and I’m holding my breath because we are not able to control what’s happening at the moment. The Vale Hospital and Rescue Centre confirmed they’d put the cygnets to sleep after avian flu was confirmed.”
Last year Stratford lost 25 swans to bird flu which is a threat to swans, ducks, geese and pigeons but it’s the cygnets who appear most at risk according to Mr Bennis.
“I’m waiting for more guidance from DEFRA but in the meantime I’m working on a day-to-day basis and hopefully the RSPCA will help me to. I’m taking precautions like wearing a big safety suit and using disinfectant all the time,” Mr Bennis said.
Although the risk to humans is very low, Cyril Bennis has urged people not to pick up dead birds and to not feed swans on the River Avon to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the animals congregating together.