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Outbreak of bird flu at swannery in Dorset

Bird flu has returned to the historic Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset tonight. The outbreak has been detected in nine mute swans - and it is feared that more could now be at risk.

The popular tourist attraction near Weymouth is currently closed to the public for the winter season. But bosses say every precaution is being taken to protect staff and prevent further spread.

The current strain of avian flu is a low risk to public health - but a wider outbreak could be catastrophic for poultry farmers across the South. Rachel Hepworth reports.

The interviewees are John Houston from the Abbotsbury Swannery; Ruth Wyatt, a Poultry farmer; and Nigel Gibbens the UK's Chief Veterinary Officer.

Hundreds help out in swan census

Volunteers at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset Credit: Abbotsbury Swannery

Around 200 volunteers braved the heat today to help count and check the swans at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset. The volunteers helped move the swans out of the water onto the shore where a vet could check them over.

Abbotsbury is the world's only managed colony of mute swans. They are checked twice a year.

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Swan census underway in Dorset

Hundreds of volunteers are helping to round up swans at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset. The purpose of the round-up is to check the health of the swans and takes place twice a year.

Abbotsbury is the world's only managed colony of mute swans. Many of the volunteers are in small boats or canoes and they herd the swans out of the water and in to holding pens so the vets can take a look at them.