Published: 02 February 2022

From: Health

A case of avian influenza (bird flu) has been confirmed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) after a swan died at the Millpond in January.

The swan died from a variant that is of a low risk of transmission to humans.  

Crawley Borough Council is working with DEFRA to put safety measures in place and control the spread of avian influenza.

The UK Health Security Agency has said the risk to human health is low, but residents should not touch or pick up any dead or visibly unwell birds that they find and take care to avoid bird droppings and bodily fluids.

Avian influenza spreads from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and droppings. It can also be spread by contaminated feed and water or by dirty vehicles, clothing and footwear.

I urge anyone who sees any dead or unwell birds to follow DEFRA’s advice – do not touch or pick up any birds and avoid bird droppings.

Cllr Chris Mullins

Cabinet member for Wellbeing

Crawley Borough Council

If a member of the public finds dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, they should report them to the DEFRA helpline on 03459 335577. For more information visit the government's website

If a dead wild bird is found on domestic premises residents should report them via the Defra helpline (03459 335577) and follow the guidance given for disposal.