Queen’s swans catch bird flu: 26 of birds killed after deadly disease kills six flocks on River Thames in Windsor
- 26 swans humanely slaughtered in Windsor amid fears of virus spread
- It comes as six birds died in the Thames in Windsor earlier this month
- Emperor ‘saddened’ about Hans’ death and told to keep updated
- Bird flu outbreaks in other areas have seen swans infect and decimated
from 26 swan QueenHer own flock was killed by veterinarians on the Thames in Windsor to stop the spread of bird flu.
At least six birds are believed to have died avian influenza Amid fears that the virus could spread – and another ‘found dead yesterday morning’ bringing the death toll to 33.
Veterinarians at the Swan Lifeline Rescue Center were called in by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to kill the swans humanely.
The Crown owns all mute swans – the most common of the three UK species – found in open waters in Britain.
26 of the Queen’s own flock were killed on the Thames in Windsor to prevent the spread of bird flu
At least six birds are believed to have died of avian influenza amid fears the virus could spread – and another ‘found dead yesterday morning’
The Queen’s swan David Barber has reportedly informed the monarch, who is called ‘sad’ and asked to be kept ‘fully updated’ with any news. The Sun Online,
A traditional annual stock-take of swans is performed each summer on the River Thames.
Known as Swan Upping, the ceremony dates back to the 12th century when ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water in Britain was claimed by the Crown to ensure ready supplies for banquets.
Veterinarians at the Swan Lifeline Rescue Center were called by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to kill the swans humanely.
Bird flu may see swans and other birds in 3km ‘kill zone’ near Eton College
Bird flu has spread near Eton College, where Boris Johnson, Prince William and Prince Harry were students.
The location has not been disclosed, but the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says that ‘a captive bird monitoring controlled area has been placed around the complex, which is spread over three kilometers, and all birds are humanely protected there. will be killed’.
This will worry wildlife lovers because a 3km ‘killing zone’ so close to Eton will cover the River Thames, where there are hundreds of swans – legally owned by the Queen.
Outbreaks of bird flu in other areas have seen swans infect and mow down.
The UK is facing its biggest outbreak to date of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, with more than 60 confirmed cases since early November, involving herds of wild geese and ducks.
The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemis, is urging all poultry keepers to ‘not get complacent and take the necessary biosecurity measures to keep their birds safe and help stop the spread of bird flu.
Public health advice remains that the risk to human health from the virus is very low and that avian influenza poses little food safety risk to UK consumers.
There is no effect on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs.
The owner of infected birds in Eaton must record the name and address of any person visiting and whether that person had any contact with poultry or other captive birds.
A record should also be made of the transportation or marketing of all poultry and poultry eggs as early as possible.
The government urges people not to touch or pick up any dead or sick bird and instead report it by calling 03459 335577.
Today, the Queen exercises this right only on parts of the River Thames and surrounding tributaries.
Ownership is shared with the Worshipful Company of Winters and the Worshipful Company of Dyers, who were granted ownership rights by the Crown in the 15th century.
Swan picking now serves as an annual health checkup when swans and signets are weighed, ringed and checked for signs of illness or injury.
However, the ongoing COVID pandemic has meant that Count Shave has been disrupted due to restrictions – it is estimated that there are 150 to 200 swans in the 3 km ‘kill zone’.
The news comes after it emerged earlier this month that at least two swans from Queens died of bird flu in Windsor, two days after outbreaks of the virus were confirmed in nearby Eton and Maidenhead – where Boris John And Princess William and Harry were exclusive students at Eton College.
Swan Support, which rescues sick and injured swans within the Thames Valley region, said two birds – a cygnet, a young goose and a one-year-old – were found dead from the disease within the flock.
It is also possible that other swans may have died along the river but their bodies have not yet been recovered.
Swan Support said routine checks had been carried out on the Windsor herd over the past six weeks with no signs of the virus, but several swans were now displaying symptoms.
The center said it was likely the virus was ‘spread by a recent local outbreak’, possibly referring to the outbreaks at Eaton and Maidenhead.
Swan Support said: ‘We are sad to report that we have retrieved two dead swans from the Windsor herd – a Cygnet and a one year old. Both died of avian flu, and while we cannot be certain of the source, it is likely that it has been spread by a recent local outbreak, as we have seen no incidence of the virus on Windsor birds for the past six weeks. are looking. ,
‘We are now closely monitoring the herd several times a day, and especially the many swans that are exhibiting symptoms.
‘We are in regular touch with Royal Swan Marker and keeping him informed of all developments.
‘We are working very hard to reduce the impact of this virus and stop the spread. Our rescue teams are on call 24 hours a day and as soon as we get the information about the dead bird, we will get out immediately.
Swan Support has asked people in Berkshire to keep an eye out for any birds that appear to be swimming in circles and are unable to raise their heads.
‘We have a designated rescuer in the Reading area who has been dealing with the outbreak there for the past month and now a designated rescuer in the Windsor area. Both are confined to their respective areas to prevent any cross contamination.
‘It is hard and heartbreaking work but we are dedicated and determined.
‘We’re asking for your help because it’s important to stop this outbreak and limit the devastating consequences we know this virus can cause.
‘Please pay special attention to any bird that is swimming in circles and unable to keep its head up. We will then monitor the bird and retrieve it following recommended protocols. We have systems in place to ensure that we do not bring the disease to our facility.