21 July
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The council has been informed by The Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) of a confirmed case of avian flu at Harperrig Reservoir. 

Warning signage has been placed at entrances and footpaths to the site. The risk to humans remains low but people should still take precautions:

•    Keep to footpaths
•    Keep dogs on leads
•    Do not feed the waterfowl
•    Do not pick up or touch sick wild birds
•    Do not touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings

Further instances of dead waterfowl can be reported to Defra's GB helpline: 03459 335577

The council's Trading Standards team has issued a reminder not touch or pick up any dead, wild bird, unless it is absolutely necessary, but leave it in situ.

The risks to humans is very low, and taking a few simple precautions around can help prevent any issues.

Any birds found on public land can be reported to the council via Report a Dead Animal. Dead birds on private land are the responsibility of the land owner.

If you find a dead bird of prey, three or more gulls or wildfowl species (particularly wild geese, wild ducks, swans) or find five or more birds of any other species in the same location and at the same time, please report these incidents to Defra's national helpline telephone 03459 335577. You should not touch or handle the dead birds.

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 Avian Flu guidance (opens new window)

However, should you choose to dispose of a dead bird, you are advised to take the following precautions:


Disposing of a dead bird in your grey bin

If possible, wear disposable protective gloves when picking up and handling dead wild birds and place the bird in a bag and tie it. 

A plastic bag can be used as a make-shift glove if disposable gloves are not available.
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, preferably leak-proof, plastic bag, tied and disposed of in your grey bin. If you are using disposable gloves, please put these in the second plastic bag.

Care should be taken not to contaminate the outside of the bag.


A dead bird can be buried with the following guidelines: 

- the depth of at least 60 cm for the burial hole is advised to prevent animals scavenging 
- the location must not be near any watercourses, or likely to contaminate local water supplies
- do not place the bird in a plastic bag.

If you have any contact with a dead bird, please wash your hands using hot, soapy water and wash any clothing articles that may also be contaminated afterwards.