OK to feed swans again says town's wildlife rescuer - The Stratford Observer
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19th Aug, 2022

OK to feed swans again says town's wildlife rescuer

PEOPLE can feed the swans again in Stratford following the avian flu outbreak.

Swan rescuer Cyril Bennis said 60 of the town’s swans were lost to the bird flu endemic, which broke out late last year.

But Mr Bennis said there had been no reported deaths of swans or any other wild birds from avian flu in the last few weeks, but the situation would continue to be monitored.

During the outbreak, the public were warned not to feed them since it would encourage them to congregate. Now people can do so but with caution.

Mr Bennis said: “I am glad to say that we can now feed the swans and other river wildfowl again.

“However, please do so responsibly, by feeding the birds in the river, not on dry land and continue to be aware of and avoid any deposits of poo – to prevent it being carried elsewhere on your shoes.

“Thanks to everyone for their wonderful support and understanding during this dreadful outbreak of avian flu that caused the deaths of 60 swans and other wildlife in Stratford.”

Mr Bennis was single-handedly trying to manage scores of sick and dying swans after Wychbold Swan Rescue Centre in Droitwich, where he normally takes sick and injured wildlife, was closed after the virus took hold at the premises.

Government environment agency DEFRA later confirmed the virus in Stratford early November.

The majority of restrictions and disease control zones have now been lifted across the country.

 

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