The right thing to do

As a hgv driver, Rupert Stephenson's day job takes him to many places, one of those last week was Stratford upon Avon.

'I was emptying bins along the river area, only 100 yards from the swans, who come to see if there's any food on offer. In light of the avian flu situation, and the death of 20 swans at Stratford during the week, I took the decision to isolate myself from the greater show community. Yes, I missed two shows that weekend I was going to, but I feel it was the correct and proper thing to do'.

Although many of our members were looking forward to seeing Rupert at the Champion Waterfowl Exhibition at Stroud last Sunday, we applaud his decision. Rupert certainly preserves his reputation as a responsible poultry keeper and friend to many people - but more importantly he acted to stop any possible spread of this deadly disease in our birds.

The BWA extends the hand of friendship to our fellow bird lovers who have not been so fortunate in their timing.

To date, there have been 53 wild bird cases positive for highly pathogenic H5N1. These have been in 13 separate locations in England, Scotland and Wales. DEFRA update their advice weekly, including links for all four home nations. Regulating animal health is a devolved matter, but all four home administrations are endeavouring to harmonise the legislation and have a co-ordinated response. The intent of the advice is the same, wherever you live in the UK.
Mute swan stretching
Mute Swan — Jane Bowden