Bird flu outbreak kills more than 100 black-headed gulls in Bedford park

Black-headed gulls have suffered high mortality rates because of bird flu.
Black-headed gulls have suffered high mortality rates because of bird flu. Credit: PA

More than a 100 black-headed gulls have died at a park in Bedford after an outbreak of bird flu.

Concerns were raised after a large number of dead birds were found in Priory County Park over the last two weeks.

The cause of death has now been confirmed as H5N1 bird flu by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The black-headed gulls have been removed and the park remains open, but the public has been asked not to touch any other dead birds they find.

Only black-headed gulls have been affected in this outbreak and so far it has not spread to other species of birds.

Black-headed gulls have suffered high mortality rates due to bird flu across the country this year.

A large number of black-headed gulls were found dead in a Bedford park. Credit: PA

Tom Wootton, Mayor of Bedford Borough, said: “We have been made aware of a large number of dead Black-headed gulls at Priory Country Park and now have confirmation that these deaths are due to bird flu.

“This is especially concerning at this crucial time when gulls should be raising their young.

"We currently have no plans to close Priory Country Park but do ask members of the public not to touch any dead birds they see and to report them to Defra.”

H5N1 bird flu is a disease that is spread between wild birds and has caused the worst bird flu outbreak ever seen in Europe.

Find the latest bird flu (avian influenza) situation in England on GOV.UK at

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