Bird flu detected in Bedminster park area - warning issued to dog owners

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed the bird flu case

A sign is up at a Bedminster park urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads after a case of bird flu was detected on a wild bird in the area.

The notice at Greville Smyth Park also says people should avoid touching dead or sick wild birds, and not feed wild waterfowl. It has been signed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said the signs has been put up under the direction of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which confirmed to BristolWorld that it had detected one case of Avian Flu in ‘the surrounding area of Greville Smyth Park’.

The Government body said the flu had been detected in a Herring gull on July 19. According to a weekly report, no other cases of bird flu have been detected in wild birds in the Bristol region this year.

Asked if the sign’s guidance still applied, a DEFRA spokesperson said it was ‘general advice to the public to ensure their health is protected while in the area’.

Avian flu is spread by close contact with an infected bird, whether it is dead or alive.

What is bird flu and how can it affect pets?

Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds. In rare cases, it can affect humans.

While the risk to pet dogs from bird flu is very low, dog walkers have been warned to be extra careful around coastlines and wildfowl.

There is also a concern domestic pets may spread the virus further either on their coat or by stepping through infected bird droppings and transferring or spreading it.

People who notice their dog showing symptoms compatible with bird flu virus infection such as fever, panting and fatigue and has been exposed to infected (sick or dead) wild birds/poultry should monitor its health and contact a vet.

For more information on bird flu visit the gov.uk website