Three swans and a gull put down as bird flu discovered at Sanquhar Pond

The SSPCA has warned people visiting the area around Sanquhar to be vigilant after bird flu was confirmed in the pond.

Two swans were put down by the animal rescue charity this afternoon (Tuesday) and signs were put up to warn people and help stop the spread.

The adult Whooper swan and Mute cygnet were reported by members of the public earlier in the day.

A further Mute swan cygnet and a gull have also been put to sleep by SSPCA at Sanquhar over the past few days, bringing the total to four birds in the locality.

The strain affecting birds at the pond could be passed to humans and people are encouraged to stay on the footpath, to not feed the waterfowl and keep dogs on leads.

The posters put up at the site today provide further information and advice as well as a number to call if you discover dead wild birds.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer, Lynn Cruickshank, said, “I attended Sanquhar Loch today following reports from concerned members of the public.

“Sadly, a cygnet, a whooper swan and a seagull have had to be put to sleep due to suspected avian flu. This comes after another cygnet had to be euthanised for the same reason yesterday. 

“At present, we are still currently unable to admit birds at high risk of avian flu, like waterfowl, to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre. However, we will still attend reports of birds in need and do everything we can to help. Signage with advice for members of the public has been posted around the loch.

“If you are concerned about a bird, please contact our helpline on 03000 999 999 for advice. If you find any dead wild birds, please do not handle the bodies and report the incident to DEFRA’s helpline on 03459 335577.”

She said they had been inundated with bird flu calls across the area. She added that the advice to not feed waterfowl was to stop attracting other birds into the area.

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