Worst fears confirmed as bird flu found on Southport coastline

18th July 2023

Dead birds that have washed up on Southport beach are likely to have had bird flu, scientists have confirmed.

Sefton Council has received confirmation from The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has been found in wild birds along the Sefton Coast.

The Council continues working with DEFRA to ensure all cases are reported and the dead birds are dealt with safely.

It is imperative that all visitors to our coastline follow the guidance below:

  • Do not pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds;
  • Do not touch wild bird feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings;
  • Do not feed waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans, etc)
  • Keep dogs on leads and avoid walking along the tide line;
  • Avoid dogs coming into contact with wild birds;
  • If you keep poultry or other birds, wash your hands, clean and disinfect footwear before tending to your birds.

We encourage anyone who sees a sick or dead bird on our coastline to report it to DEFRA, either by visiting the designated webpage: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/report-dead-wild-birds or calling the helpline: 03459 335577.

Council officers continue to monitor strandlines, which are lines formed from where debris is left after a high tide, and follow the health and safety measures in place to remove dead wild birds.

Further information can be found online at www.sefton.gov.uk/birdflu