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Birds Being Shot Owing To Bird Flu Fear: Wildlife Experts

by Medindia Content Team on April 17, 2006 at 5:29 PM
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Birds Being Shot Owing To Bird Flu Fear: Wildlife Experts

A wildlife rescue group has raised concerns over swans and other wild birds that are being shot down owing to the bird flu fear . Despite pleas from wildlife rescue groups, Canada geese, peregrine falcons and healthy swans have been shot in Salisbury.

The attempts of Salisbury Wildlife Rescue workers to save a swan (found with a broken leg and nine pellets in it's chest) ended up in vain. The bird had to be eventually destroyed by the vet.

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'It is ridiculous. People are shooting at everything flying over their land in case the birds have bird flu, but there is nothing wrong with them. The swan we found on Monday was peppered at least nine times. We suspect this is because of misplaced fears about bird flu. This swan was shot by a shotgun,' said Philip Groombridge, of the Wildlife Rescue.

Salisbury houses nearly 350 swans. In addition to the resident birds, the officials are rescuing more than 200 birds every year. It has been feared that the decomposed swan found near the harbour in Cellardyke, Scotland has been infected with bird flu. A similar strain of the H5N1 virus that infected birds in Ruegen Island in the Baltic Sea has been identified.

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