8 September 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Rory Jackson, Skibbereen-West Cork Local Representative, with the Green Party today said
“It is very worrying to see an increase in the number of dead birds being reported on our shores. We have watched avian flu spread across the UK and knew at some time, it would visit our shores and birds here. The increase in dead or dying seabirds being found on coastlines is very worrying and is having a huge impact on the native bird population. Avian flu can still be contagious from dead birds for over two weeks and it is important that any sightings are reported immediately.
We have not seen this scale of Pelagic bird loss in many years – this is extremely worrying for a population already under severe pressure from pollution, overfishing, and the rise in temperatures. Climate change is changing our natural world, changing the migration patterns of birds, and changing how avian flu and other pathogens are being transported. Climate change is not just about temperature and weather – it is also about what life can survive – and what we are seeing in these dead birds – is that avian flu may be thriving in this new world. I would reiterate the calls for the public to report any sightings of dead birds or birds behaving in ways that signify distress or disease.
If members of the public see a bird that they suspect is affected by avian flu, they should report sightings to the Department of Agriculture’s Avian Influenza Hotline: 01 607 2512 (during office hours) 01 492 8026 (outside office hours) or log it using the Avian Check app: via the Department of Agriculture’s reporting portal.
I have been protecting local birdlife in West Cork since the days of the Kowloon Bridge disaster in 1986. This new scenario is as worrying as anything I have ever seen.”