Dead swan at Sandy Water Park, Llanelli

Poor dab.
This dead swan was at the entrance to Sandy Water Park in Llanelli today.
As I am a 'regular' at the park, it hadn't been there for more than 24 hours.
It's taken as read that we are all on alert for outbreaks of avian flu.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre in Llanelli was shut for a short while before Christmas as a precautionary move following the discovery of a dead wild duck (next to the Llwchwr Estuary) with H5N8 avian influenza (‘bird flu’).
Earlier this month, The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales confirmed Avian Influenza H5N8 in a backyard flock of chickens and ducks on a premises near Pontyberem in the Gwendraeth Valley.
Prior to confirmation, it was decided to cull the birds on strong suspicion of disease.
It's important not to get too alarmed about all this.
Avian flu is a concern for birds – not humans.
This is NOT a strain of bird flu that has ever transferred to people.
But, after today's discovery, I decided I would do a bit of civic duty and follow the advice given out on TV, radio and the media - ie report the matter.
So, I followed the Welsh Government advice and contacted the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Helpline (03459 33 55 77).
After pressing the usual automated buttons, I got through to a live human being.
But, I later wondered why I bothered . . .
He didn't seem very interested in the news and even advised me to 'dispose' of the swan.
I pointed out that the dead bird was on public land and near the main road at the entrance to Sandy Water Park.
The conversation that followed was basically, 'don't worry about it, the local council will probably pick it up'.
Any plans to examine the bird or even conduct a post-mortem for signs of bird flu?
Ah, well, I did my duty . . .

Meanwhile, for those interested, some weblinks, which feature advice on avian flu and some of the 'reasons' why we don't eat The Queen's swans . . .


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