Three Swans Found Dead in North-East Sent for Tests

The Journal (Newcastle, England), April 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

Three Swans Found Dead in North-East Sent for Tests


Two dead birds found at a Northumberland beauty spot were last night being tested for the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu.

The swans were discovered at Linton Lane Wildlife Reserve, near Morpeth, Northumberland, by a member of the public and their bodies were taken away to the national testing lab in Weybridge, Surrey, for examination.

It is expected to take up to a week before it is known whether they died from the same strain of the disease which killed the mute swan found in Scotland.

Northumbria Police yesterday confirmed its marine section had worked with the Department of Food, Rural Affairs and Agriculture to recover the dead birds.

Deputy Chief Constable David Warcup said: "We assisted Defra in the Morpeth area. We would reiterate the advice for people not to overreact and to log on to the Defra website for more information."

Duncan Hutt, estates manager for Northumberland Wildlife Trust which runs the reserve, said: "It is not unusual to find swans dead at this time of year, but we will have to wait for the results of the tests. The reserve remains open and safe to visit, but if anyone finds dead birds they should contact Defra. …

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