Horror on Brit beach as dying birds ‘gasping for air’ amid new bird flu outbreak

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More than 62 dead birds and dozens of dying ones "gasping for air" have been spotted on a UK beach amid a new wave of bird flu.

Last Thursday (July 14), Sandra McDerment was walking down Maidens Beach in Ayrshire, Scotland, with her husband Jim and their two cocker spaniels when she made the grisly discovery.

The couple started to count the amount of deceased birds after their dogs sniffed one or two out.

READ MORE: Flying Ants Day hits UK at same time as record-breaking heatwave

It comes after two councils in the region were forced to issue warnings over bird flu, reports the Daily Record.

Sandra said: “It was horrible, When we go out a walk with the dogs we sometimes spot one or two dead sea gulls. But this was just bird after bird after bird. To have so many dead birds en masse like that was awful to see.

“In half a mile we counted 62, we only walked along the beach, we could see there was more on the other side when we got to the entrance at Culzean. There were literally hundreds.

“We saw about half a dozen birds who were still alive and they were gasping for air, it was so distressing. There was absolutely nothing you could do. You were seeing them taking their last breath, their beaks were open and they just couldn’t move.”

Sandra immediately reported the grim find to DEFRA who are dealing with outbreaks across the country.

She has urged other dog walkers or parents with young children to be aware if they see any dead birds on beaches.

Sandra added: “The minute we saw there was loads of dead birds we worried it might be bird flu and put our dogs on a leash.

“We saw there was young children playing with a ball, we don’t know how far they went along the beach but they need to be careful.

“You don’t want your dog or child going near sick birds.”

South Ayrshire Council have warned the public to stay away from wild or sick birds to prevent the spread of bird flu.

Council posters have appeared across beaches to warn visitors.

South Ayrshire Council are advising: "Don’t touch any wild or sick birds you may come across.

"Keep dogs and other animals away from the birds.

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"Avoid feeding wild birds, as this causes them to congregate and may encourage the spread of the disease.

"Do not touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings.

"If you keep poultry or other birds, wash your hands and clean and disinfect your footwear before tending to your birds.

"Please report any sightings to our Waste Management team on 0300 123 0900."

DEFRA were unable to confirm or deny if they had received a report from Maidens Beach.


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