Bird flu confirmed in five gulls after 'well over' 30 found dead on Cornwall beach

A woman made the "disturbing" discovery on Long Rock beach while out walking her dog Credit: Google

More than 30 dead birds have been found on a single beach in Cornwall.

Five of the gulls collected by Government officials were found to have had bird flu when they died.

Rachel Gregory says she was walking her dogs on Long Rock beach, near Penzance, when she came across "well over" 30 dead sea gulls all within a short distance of one another.

Rachel, who found the birds on January 18, said: "It was very unusual and quite disturbing, as I’m used to seeing the occasional dead bird, but never so many so close together."

She reported the find to Cornwall Wildlife Trust who passed it on to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

A spokesperson for the Animal and Plant Health Agency - which is part of Defra - told ITV News: “We are aware of a number of wild bird deaths in the Longrock area near Penzance, Cornwall.

“These deaths are currently under investigation and five gulls collected from the area have been found positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1.”

What to do if you find a dead wild bird

You should not pick up any dead or visibly sick birds. Instead, any dead wild birds - such as gulls or birds of prey - should be reported to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency will then collect some birds to carry out disease testing.