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DEFRA have issued guidance for members of the public with regards to when it is appropriate to contact them with regards to concerns about avian flu. If there is,

  • one or more dead wild swans, geese or ducks or
  • 3 or more dead wild birds of the same species or
  • 5 dead birds of different species

You should contact the DEFRA helpline on 08459 33 55 77 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).

If there is only one dead wild/garden bird in your garden then you should not contact DEFRA but either leave it alone or follow their advice for disposal on the website which can be found at Please be aware that the guidance may change quickly if there are cases of avian influenza.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.