Martin Williams

Bird flu outbreak devastates UK seabird colonies

//Distressing images from the world’s largest colony of northern gannets have heralded the entry of a lethal strain of bird fluinto the UK’s seabirds.

Bass Rock appears partly deserted after the virus swept through the colony, while countless terns have washed ashore along the Norfolk coastline.

The new reports follow a number of bird flu outbreaks in Scotland at the start of the year, with the virus now spreading south into England. As of 28 June, 25 local authorities around the UK have reported cases in wild birds in the past two weeks, up from just three a month ago.

The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (HPAI) is believed to have its origins in an epidemic which affected captive birds, such as chickens, earlier this year.//