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Bird flu cases confirmed by north-east animal rescue centre

By Kyle Ritchie

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A wildlife and animal rescue charity has confirmed that two red knots that were brought into its centre at the end of last year had bird flu.

The New Arc, near Ellon, said it took the birds into its care in December and one was injured and euthanased immediately and the other was very poorly and died shortly after it arrived.

The charity has outlined that there does not seem to be a large outbreak in the area but urged the public to stay vigilant when they come across ill birds.

Two red knots that died were confirmed to have bird flu.
Two red knots that died were confirmed to have bird flu.

In a statement online the charity said: "It has been confirmed that both knots that were brought to us, one injured and euthanased immediately, one very poorly that died shortly after arrival while we were attempting to contact the authorities about our suspicions, did have avian influenza.

"Whilst there does not appear to be a huge outbreak in our area from what we can tell, we would remind everybody to please be very cautious picking up ill birds at present.

"The risk to humans is small, but if you do find a poorly sea bird, swan, goose, gull or wader, please wear gloves if you intend picking them up.

"Any birds needing to come to the centre, please ring us first so we are aware you are on your way.

"We are still open, but with the Covid situation, and bird flu, we are being extremely careful for the sake of our staff, volunteers, visitors and of course the birds already at the centre.

"Please remember if you keep poultry, they, like us humans, should still be in lockdown for the time being."

The New Arc can be contacted by calling 07962253867.

In December, the centre said it was aware of an outbreak in Orkney in domestic hens.

This led to restrictions being put in place on the island and bird keepers across the country were told to ensure they have biosecurity measures in place.

The centre outlined at the time it received several calls with concerns regarding wading birds in the Newburgh area particularly red knots.

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