The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS) has been liaising with Defra since early 2017 over how we can contribute to the surveillance effort for avian influenza (AI). We are now swabbing all carcass submissions as they are arrive and will be sending the swabs into Defra for AI screening.
Professor Richard Shore, PBMS project leader, said “The birds we receive from members of the public as part of the PBMS’s work is a valuable resource that can be used for a wide range of studies beyond the project’s main focus of monitoring pollutants in our environment”.
“Indeed, the scheme has recently provided tissue samples for screening for other diseases, such as West Nile virus and Trichomonosis, and for wider collaborative studies investigating the genetic structure of raptor populations and the biomechanics of flight.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to help with the surveillance of avian influenza in wildlife, specifically in raptors.”