Bird lovers have been asked to clean garden feeders to avoid spreading deadly Avian Flu.
More than 500,000 birds have been culled in the UK during the latest outbreak of H5N1.
Forty cases of the virus have been recorded this year.
It’s thought to have arrived in Britain from migratory birds from Russia and Eastern Europe.
So far, there have been no cases of human infection in Britain.
People can be infected through touching ill birds – or their droppings – or handling poultry meat.
Birds lovers who put out feeders have been urged to keep them scrupulously clean.
An RSPB spokesman said:
“Everyone should take care to maintain good hygiene when feeding garden birds, regularly cleaning feeders outside with mild disinfectant, removing old bird food, spacing out feeders as much as possible, and washing your hands.”
Dr Holly Shelton, an expert in animal influenza at the Pirbright Institute in Woking, said it was hard to “pin down a reason for the number of outbreaks this year”.
“This year’s outbreaks have been the most extensive ever, to date we have had 40 outbreaks, compared to last year’s 26 outbreaks.”