There has been a rise in confirmed cases of Avian Influenza around Scotland, including Aberdeenshire. The main risk is from wild birds directly and contamination. If you have poultry or captive birds, don't let wild birds contaminate bedding or feed, protect it and cover it well and don't collect bedding (sand or grasses) from coastlines or other areas where wild birds are present.
Avian influenza (bird flu) mainly affects birds, however it can also affect animals and other mammals. If you suspect any type of avian influenza in poultry or captive birds you should report this immediately by contacting the Animal and Plant Agency (APHA). Failure to report any cases is an offence.
Birds with avian influenza can have swollen heads, dullness, lack of appetite, respiratory issues and diarrhoea. This can present suddenly and birds can pass away within hours of first displaying symptoms.
Some strains of avian influenza can pass to humans, however this is very rare and usually requires very close contact between humans and infected birds.
If you find a sick or dead bird, do not touch or pick up the bird. You can report any sick or dead birds to the SSPCA on 03000 999 999.
More information on how to spot and report the disease can be found via the Scottish Government website.