It has been confirmed that the carcass of a swan found on a harbour slipway in the fishing village of Cellardyke in eastern Scotland was carrying the most deadly H5N1 strain of the virus.
The UK is now the 14th European country to find the disease on its territory.
Local Tina Briscoe discovered the bird: “My thoughts are, we reported it in the evening and the bird was not collected until lunchtime the next day, and I thought cats and dogs and so on might have had a go at it. So I was concerned. I’m not worried about avian flu.”
Scotland’s Chief Veterninary Officer Charles Milne said: “I must emphasis to date that this is a finding in a wild bird. There is no indication of infection in domestic poultry to date.”
A three kilometre protection zone has been set up around the village, with bird owners told to keep their animals inside.
H5N1 has killed over 100 people since 2003.