Dead seagulls strewn on Penzance beach amid dog sickness fears

Thirty seagulls have been found dead on a single beach this week amid fears over bird flu and dogs falling ill after being in the sea.

Rachel Gregory was walking her dogs on Tuesday morning (January 18) on Long Rock Beach, near Penzance, when she found several dead seagulls a short distance away.

Discovery comes as a boxer and a French bulldog suffered from illness and diarrhea after coming into contact with seawater at Perranporth, which may have been polluted with raw sewage.

Read more: Pollution fears as dogs fall ill after walks on Cornish beaches

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has also confirmed it has been made aware of a ‘number’ of wild bird deaths in several locations across the country similar to this incident in Cornwall .

Rachel told CornwallLive there were “well over” 30 dead gulls within a short distance on the sandy beach.

I reported it to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust who say it might be bird flu and forwarded it to Defra. It was very unusual and quite disturbing, as I’m used to seeing dead birds once in a while, but never so close to each other,” she said.

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Defra is currently investigating the deaths across England as part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s (Apha) ongoing wild bird surveillance programme.

Any dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, should be reported to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577, and members of the public should not pick up dead or visibly sick birds.

Apha will then arrange to collect some of these birds and test them to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of birds. Not all birds will be collected.



Dead seagulls discovered on a Penzance beach this week

When dead birds are not required for monitoring purposes, it is the responsibility of the landowner to safely dispose of the carcasses as animal by-products. Where dead birds are found on public land, it is the responsibility of the local authority to safely dispose of the carcasses as animal by-products.

For the latest updates on the bird flu situation, you can visit the website here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

According to the latest report, released on January 13, there are currently no wild birds in Cornwall that have tested positive for bird flu.

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