Forestry and Land Scotland have issued advise to all visitors to their forest destinations, including Faskally, Drummond Hill, and Craigvinean, advising them to avoid touching dead or apparently dying birds.
The advice comes in response to an increase in the number of reports of dead birds being found across Scotland, with the locations ranging from as far south as Dumfries, up to Aberdeen and even on Shetland.
Speaking about the rise Forestry and Land Scotland Ecologist, Kenny Kortland said: We have already found a number of dead seabirds at Tentsmuir forest that are suspected avian flu cases and we expect that it will not be the only visitor destination that we look after where this will occur.
“It is very important that people do not touch dead or dying birds, and that they keep their dogs away from them as well.
“Avian flu is extremely contagious amongst birds and while transmission to humans is very rare, it is important that we all do what we can to prevent assisting the spread of the disease.”
Cases of Avian Flu in wild birds have been found across Scotland including in Perth and Kinross with reported cases in Buzzards and a Pink Footed Goose earlier this year.
Avian Flu is usually not infection in humans except in rare cases. The current strain being found H5N1 is harmful and has been since 1997 but doesn’t infect people easily.
Avian Flu is spread by close contact between humans and an infected bird, dead or alive, so following a common-sense approach of not touching dead birds, droppings or eating infected meat will remove all risk of infection.
Anyone who finds a dead bird that they think might have succumbed to avian flu should immediately contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
The Perthshire office is located in the Broxden Business Park and can be contacted via email at APHA.Scotland@alpha.go.uk or by phone at 03000 600704.