The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is urging people in Wolverhampton not to touch any sick or dead wild birds in the city following reports of die off in Canada geese in West Park.

The City of Wolverhampton Council and UKHSA West Midlands are working together and liaising with Defra (the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) to manage the situation and protect public health and reduce the risk to other birds, wildlife and pets. Dead birds have been collected from the park and are being sent for testing to determine the cause of death.

Sarah Smith UKHSA West Midlands Consultant in Health Protection specialising in avian influenza, said: “Bird carcasses are being collected and sent to the APHA lab to determine the reason for die off seen in wild birds in Wolverhampton. As a precaution, we are asking people not to touch or let pets near any sick or dead wildfowl in the area. Instead, people should contact the City of Wolverhampton Council park rangers, so that birds can be removed safely, and report wild bird deaths to the Defra helpline, as designated on the Defra website.”

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “I would like to reassure residents that we are working closely with UKHSA to manage this situation.

“Although we are not currently aware of the cause of death, to be on the safe side, we would encourage residents to avoid close contact with sick or dead wild birds and ask people not to touch their droppings, eggs or bedding.

“If you find any dead wild birds, do not touch them and instead report them to Wolverhampton Council’s park rangers’ team on 07766 473 150.”

Reporting dead wild birds in Wolverhampton

Contact the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 to report:

  • 1 or more dead birds of prey or owls
  • 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (eg swans, geese and ducks) 
  • 5 or more dead birds of any species

Contact City of Wolverhampton Council park rangers’ team on 07766 473 150:

  • for removal of dead birds, to prevent potential spread of infection to birds, pets or people

If you have found a sick or injured wild bird:

  • Please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Do not touch the bird. 

For more information contact UKHSA West Midlands press office on 0121 232 9223/4 Out Of Hours 07834 311 393.