Inquiry into deaths of 30 swans in Cardiff

The affected birds were mainly from the Roath Park and Cardiff Bay areas

Animal health officials have begun an investigation after 30 swans died in Cardiff over a three week period.

A spokesman for Cardiff council said the affected birds were mainly from the Roath Park and Cardiff Bay areas.

Bird flu has not been diagnosed as the cause of the birds' death and inquiries into why they died are under way.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency is investigating. Advice not to touch a dead bird with bare hands has been issued.

Disposable protective gloves should be worn if possible when picking up and handling them.

There is a population of around 200 swans in the city.

Investigative work

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) said: "Reports of increased levels of mortality amongst wild swans in the Cardiff area are being investigated as part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's Diseases of Wildlife Scheme.

"Notifiable disease, including avian influenza, has not been diagnosed, but the underlying cause of these deaths is unknown at present.

"Investigative work is continuing."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Reports of increased levels of mortality amongst wild swans in the Cardiff area are being investigated as part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's Diseases of Wildlife Scheme.

"The agency is working to establish the underlying cause of death."

Councillor Ashley Govier, Cardiff council's cabinet member for the environment said: "I am deeply concerned about this situation and am personally monitoring work being done by council officers and our partners to resolved this as quickly as possible.

"I understand how distressing it will be for members of the public to come across dead birds in this number and I have asked our parks and river officers to pay careful attention to ensure any further instances are dealt with quickly.

"I will be speaking to our partners to ensure our city has an effective response."

Anyone finding 10 or more dead birds should contact the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) on 08459 335577.

The role of the AVHLA, which is part of Defra, is to safeguard animal health and welfare as well as public health.

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