On the 19th of August 2022 DEFRA confirmed an avian influenza (bird flu) outbreak on site, which resulted in the euthanasia of all birds and the Hospital having to close for 12 months; as per the instruction of APHA. This has had a devastating impact on the staff and the charity. During this closure, extensive work is being undertaken to ensure Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital Cornwall can reopen, stronger than ever, with new facilities and policies implemented. To support our reopening, please visit the Support Us tab.
In the meantime, the Hospital is setting up a temporary site to work from. This site is much smaller than the original in Mousehole and consequently, the decision has been made to only admit and care for this year’s brood of young herring gulls. There will be several biosecurity measures implemented to ensure we can admit gulls safely. This includes the need to submit a photograph of the herring gull chick to us to enable an initial triage process, before travelling to our temporary site. More details about this site will be made public in the near future. This site is not currently open.
We will only be able to admit herring gull chicks, no other birds. To get help for other species (such as garden birds, pigeons and corvids like jackdaws and crows) please visit the Wildlife Directory at https://helpwildlife.co.uk/ to find your nearest rescue. Your local vet also has a legal responsibility to provide first aid to all wildlife – including birds, even during this avian influenza outbreak. We advise that any bird presenting with extensive injury (i.e. suspected broken bones) should be taken to a vet immediately unless advised by a rescue otherwise.
For the latest Avian Influenza Guidelines please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bird-flu-avian-influenza-latest-situation-in-england
Brian O’Neill, Consultant in Public Health at Cornwall Council, said: “Bird flu is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to people’s health is low. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t be doing everything we can to stop it spreading so that risk becomes even lower. As well as not touching them, we would also strongly urge people not to feed wild birds at their local ponds, lakes and rivers as large gatherings of birds make transmission of the virus more likely.”
If you find the following:
•1 or more dead birds of prey gull, swan, goose or duck in the same place
•5 or more dead wild birds of any species in the same place
You should report it to DEFRA: 03459 33 55 77
To minimise the spread of Avian Flu:
• Keep to footpaths, with dogs on leads
• Do not feed wild waterfowl
• Do not pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds
• Do not touch feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings