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28 October 2014
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One of many birds struggling to survive
One of the birds struggling to survive

What to do if you find oiled birds

Have you found birds affected by the oil from the MSC Napoli? Here is what you should do to help them survive.

The oil spilling from the tank of the stricken MSC Napoli has endangered over 1,000 birds that are coming ashore along our coastline.

They have been washing up along Chesil Beach, between Portland and Abbotsbury covered in oil. Many have died but many are still alive and desperately need help.

If you find an oil-covered bird, this is what you should do to help:

• Do not risk your safety by looking for or picking up birds from dangerous locations. Be aware of the tides and weather conditions.
• If you do find an oiled bird and it is safe to pick it up, ensure that you are wearing gloves because the oil could be hazardous to your health. The birds may bite too.
• Collected birds should be placed on their own in cardboard boxes with newspaper or a towel. DO NOT use hay or straw.
• Call the RSPCA 24-hour helpline: 0870 55 55 999 which can arrange collection or inform you of a nearby collection point.
• Do not attempt to wash or feed the birds - leave that to the experts.

Peter Tinsley, Marine Conservation Officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “This is a serious incident and could still get much worse. There are still 3,500 tonnes of oil on board which need to be removed urgently along with the remaining containers, before stronger winds return and potentially start to break the ship up”.

If you find a bird that has been affected by the oil spillage, please call the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on : 01825 765546

Send in your digital photos of the coastal clean up to dorset@bbc.co.uk

last updated: 25/01/07
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