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Avian Influenza - Update

As many of you will no doubt read in the local news today, Avian Influenza (bird flu) has made its way to our local area, following sadly deceased birds being found at the nearby Himley Hall and other areas across the borough. This is something that we have been dreading here for years.

It seems that for the past few years we have stated that it has been “the worst year ever” for bird flu, and now we are experiencing an even worse year, with (at the time of writing) 161 reported cases detected in poultry/captive birds, and 1,727 cases in the UK’s wild bird population, in 406 locations, involving 59 bird species. The virus seems to be persisting year-round now, spreading more easily among bird populations than before.

This is an immense worry to us, as if the disease reaches our sanctuary, this could lead to culls of our rescued birds. Something we simply cannot risk!

We are once again increasing our biosecurity measures to keep our bird residents safe; with new case alerts reaching us almost daily, and now the UK declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, we are asking for your cooperation in this. This vigilance will not only help to protect our animals, but your pet birds, and our much-loved wildlife as well.

Our team are using disinfectant foot dips to decrease the risk of the virus being carried in on footwear and we will ask that you also use one of our foot dips/mats to further help us during your visit as well.

Unfortunately, as we cannot ask dogs to dip their delicate paws in disinfectant, we will have to temporarily stop them from visiting the animals. We pride ourselves on being a 100% Dog-Friendly organisation and this is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we simply cannot risk the lives of our birds. Your dogs will still be very welcome to use our Dog Run as this is well away from our bird residents. We’re hoping to be able to welcome them back to the rest of the sanctuary as soon as we can.

We have started to pop together a dedicated page on our website with further information about what we are doing which we will update as things progress. If you have any questions that we haven’t covered, please do ask us and we will be happy to answer them!

We thank you for your continued support and cooperation at this worrying time.

For the latest up-to-date information about Bird Flu and what you need to do if you keep birds yourself, please see the Government website here:

Weekly findings of Avian Influenza in wild birds in Great Britain are published by the Government here:

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