NHS Fife and Fife Council have issued guidance to the public following a confirmed case of avian influenza (H5N8) identified in a dead swan in Cupar.

The swan, which was found on 29th November, was identified as part of a wider national influenza surveillance programme.

No other positive cases have been identified at this time.

NHS Fife Consultant in Public Health and Clinical Lead for Health Protection, Josie Murray, said: “Members of the public should not touch or pick up any dead birds that they come across. If you do find a wild bird such as a swan, duck or gull, this should be reported to Defra on 03459 33 55 77.

“If you take part in water-based activities such as wild swimming, canoeing, kayaking or boating please exercise vigilance and report anything that is untoward.

“It is important to note that the risk to human health from H5N8 is very low.”

New national measures to protect poultry and captive birds have been introduced.

Nigel Kerr, Head of Protective Services, Fife Council, said: “We are continuing to monitor this situation and are working closely with NHS Fife, DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency to minimise any risk to bird populations and the public.”

Further advice and guidance can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/