30 June
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Understandably some people are looking for this advice following reports of avian flu in other areas of the country.

Our Trading Standards team has pulled the following advice together for those interested.

The basic advice is: It is recommended that you do not touch or pick up a dead, wild bird, but leave it in situ.

However, should you choose to dispose of the dead, wild bird, the following methods should be applied:

Household or municipal waste refuse

  • if possible, wear disposable protective gloves when picking up and handling dead wild birds (if disposable gloves are not available, a plastic bag can be used as a make-shift glove). When the dead bird has been picked up, the bag can be turned back on itself and tied. It should then be placed in a second plastic bag, tied and disposed of in the normal household waste (lidded bin outside)
  • place the dead bird in a suitable plastic bag, preferably leak proof. Care should be taken not to contaminate the outside of the bag
  • tie the bag and place it in a second plastic bag
  • remove gloves by turning them inside out and then place them in the second plastic bag. Tie the bag and dispose of it in the normal household refuse bin


  • the dead bird can be buried, but not in a plastic bag
  • the depth of the burial hole must be sufficient to prevent animals scavenging and gaining access to it - at least 60 cm deep is advised
  • the location must not be near any watercourses, or likely to contaminate local water supplies

After Disposal

  • If you have touched one of these birds. you should wash your hands using hot, soapy water and wash any clothing articles that may also be contaminated

Bird flu

The council's Senior Trading Standards officer Tony McAuley explains:

"Depending on the particular circumstances it may be the  responsibility of the local authority to arrange for the collection and disposal of dead birds if there are multiple fatalities on public land. This is not necessary if there are only isolated carcases. If dead birds are found on private land it is the responsibility of the land owner to dispose of these.

"I think it is important for residents to remember that dead bird/s doesn't mean they have died as a result of bird flu.

"There are ongoing issues in the UK related to avian influenza and associated concerns regarding the wild bird population. It is, however, noted that the commercial flock and domestic flocks have fared very well as a result of recent national efforts. It's important to remember that the risk to humans is very low and government agencies are monitoring the situation closely.

"The lead agency for avian influenza is the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Scotland and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the rest of the UK. They are coordinating the efforts to contain the virus.  We would again emphasis that the risk to humans is very low."

Guidance for the public has been issued by APHA and the Scottish Government on what to do if dead birds are found. It can be found on Avian Influenza (bird flu) information from the Government website (opens new window).

People are reminded not to touch any sick or dead birds and instead report these to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77