Mystery as birds keep dropping dead in small Brit town sparking avian flu fears

Concern is growing after a government investigation was launched into the number of wild pigeons being found dead in a small Welsh town.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is on the case as fears of avian flu among some members of the public is mounting, NorthWalesLive reports.

Conwy Council has also been informed about the curious matter gripping people in Llanrwst, a small market town and community on the River Conwy.

Garry Lloyd Jones, who raced pigeons as a teenager, found three dead birds in his yard on Sunday and said he’s spotted dead pigeons around the town in the past couple of weeks.

Wondering whether the cause could be poison or avian flu, Mr Jones mentioned the matter on Facebook, and other people in the Conwy Valley said they had also seen dead pigeons.

He has since reported the matter to Defra and the council.

One woman commented on Facebook: "I found two dead one by Sip Sioned, and the other by the Red Lion pub."

Another Facebook user said her husband had found a dead bird in their garden in Trefriw, and another said she’d found two dead ones by the river in Llanrwst.

Mr Jones, who was formerly mayor of Llanrwst, said: "I found another dead pigeon on top of a bin in town.

"It really is very odd, and let’s hope it’s not poison or – perhaps even worse – avian flu.

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"I feed the pigeons every day and the birds are in a good condition. There are usually around 80 to 100 of them, but yesterday only around 13 to 14 turned up.

"I've put two of the dead ones in the freezer so that Defra can inspect them.

"It’s worrying as I also had to put down two of our chickens. They lost weight and didn’t want to eat anything and, when I picked them up, they screamed.

"I've kept chickens all my life but I had no idea what was wrong with them."

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Defra has no alerts for wild birds in Wales for avian flu at present.

A spokesman said: "Where dead or sick wild birds are reported to the Defra helpline, we will investigate as necessary as part of our disease surveillance work.

"Results for dead wild birds that have tested positive for avian influenza are routinely published."

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