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Chichester Harbour Conservancy Confirms Avian Flu Cases


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Chichester Harbour Conservancy Confirms Avian Flu Cases 

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Chichester Harbour Conservancy hasreceived confirmation from Defra, the UK Health Security Agency, that two cases of Avian Flu have been detected in Chichester Harbour.Defra are continuing to monitor the outbreak across the country, with the Conservancy team closely observing the situation locally.

The confirmation comes following a number of dead Mute Swans being found in the Harbour. Two birds were collected for analysis on Friday 4th November by Defra. Reports ofdead swans in the Fishbourne, Thorney and Bosham Channels had been received and were recovered by the Conservancy's team.

In Chichester Harbour the disposal of any dead birds is the responsibility of Environmental Health, Chichester District Council and the landowner. However the Conservancy has pro-actively stepped in to help manage the situation and co-ordinate all activity. Members of staff from across the organisation have been fully trained to safely recover sick or dead birds, using appropriate masks and other PPE.

The UK is facing its largest ever outbreak of Avian Influenza with over 200 cases confirmed across the country since late October 2021. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, infects both the wild bird and farmed or captive bird populations and is extremely contagious.

Richard Craven, Director and Harbour Master at Chichester Harbour Conservancy, commented: "This is a very distressing situationand sadly the spread of bird flu across the UK means that some wild birds resident in, or migrating to the Chichester Harbour area will be affected. We'reworking inpartnership with the relevant local authorities to organise the safe removal and disposal of dead birds found on the shoreline of Chichester Harbour, and encourage the public to report any sightings."

Harbour visitors are being advised not to pick up or touch sick or dead birds, keep dogs on a lead and refrain from feeding ducks, geese or swans around the Harbour. Any reports of dead or sick birds should be made the specific location, likely species and time and date of the sighting.


 For further information please contact Emma Cooper on 01243 214175

Notes to editors

About Chichester Harbour Conservancy
Chichester Harbour Conservancy is the statutory authority for Chichester Harbour and, as a team, manages the Harbour and surrounding areas. The Conservancy focuses on recreation and leisure, conservation and landscape protection, making it a destination for visitors to enjoy. It also runs an annual programme of events and an Education Service for families and schools

National and International Designations
Chichester Harbour is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Conservancy and the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) work closely with the Government, landowners, environment organisations and local communities to ensure the Harbour is conserved and cared for.

The intertidal areas across Chichester Harbour are also designated at national (Site of Special Scientific Interest), European (SPA, SAC) and international level (Ramsar site) in order to protect the diverse and fragile range of habitats.