BIRDS have been culled after a case of bird flu was detected in Sussex.

A three-kilometre protection zone, covering most of Bexhill, and a ten-kilometre surveillance zone covering St Leonards, Battle, Hollington, Ninfield and the outskirts have been established after a case was found in north Bexhill.

Birds on the premises have been humanely culled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

From next week, anyone who lives within the three-kilometre protection zone and keeps poultry will be contacted to ask them to complete a survey of birds kept to help scientists assess the risk of spread.

Birds within the protection zone should be kept housed, not outdoors, and no movement of birds or eggs should take place within or outside of the zone except under licence.

The Argus: A map of the protection and surveillance zones: credit - DefraA map of the protection and surveillance zones: credit - Defra

A Defra spokesman said: “The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.

“However, if you find any dead wild birds in any location, including swans, ducks, geese, gulls, or birds of prey, please report them to the Defra helpline at 03459 335577.

“Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. Keep dogs on a lead.”

The news comes days after several reports of dead seagulls around Brighton Marina, Roedean and East Brighton Park.

Brighton Marina estate director Andrew Knight told The Argus: “We have never known this to happen in the past, so it is very concerning.”

Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and other local partners are working with Defra to contain the further spread of the outbreak.

More information about bird flu and the exclusion zone can be found on the government’s website.