Wild bird surveillance sites grow

The government stepped up its wild bird monitoring by increasing the avian flu surveillance sites by 300 yesterday.   


DEFRA secretary, David Miliband, announced that 300 more nature reserves, parks and reservoirs would be added to the national surveillance site list to monitor avian flu bird deaths in the UK.


The 300 new surveillance sites increased the total land involved in the national surveillance of the wild bird population by 1,200/sqkm. 


“This will greatly increase the scope of our surveillance and add to our understanding of the disease risk,” Mr Miliband said while visiting the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.


“There is no reason to think that any dead birds found at these sites are more likely to have died of avian flu, but this is a highly efficient way to sample more wild birds and to target our work effectively,” added Mr Miliband.