A SENIOR councillor has urged Wealden residents not to touch birds thought to be infected with avian flu, after sharing reports that someone had attempted a ‘kiss of life’ on a dying animal.

Speaking at an overview and scrutiny meeting on Monday (July 4), Cllr Pam Doodes, Wealden District Council’s cabinet member for climate change, public health and community leadership, urged residents not to come into contact with dead or dying birds as the region faces multiple reports of avian flu.

In doing so, she claimed there had been reports that some people had taken infected birds to veterinarians for treatment or even had given a ‘kiss of life’. 


Pam Doodes

Pam Doodes


Ms Doodes said: “I think everyone must be aware of the avian flu problem, which started off in Bexhill locally — that was the nearest link to us — now it has gone through to Hailsham and I understand it is going over to Brighton.

“I was very upset to hear that people were picking up birds and taking them to their vets, thus spreading the germs. Please do not touch birds. Do not give them the kiss of life. Some people have been giving birds the kiss of life. Can you understand it? It’s crazy isn’t it.”

Cllr Doodes comments came after reports that cases of the disease, which almost exclusively birds, had been discovered in Hailsham last week. 

As the meeting continued, councillors heard that the council was working with government and others to monitor the outbreaks among bird populations locally. 

If you find a sick or dead bird on public land do not touch it or pick it up — report it to your local district or borough council. Keep dogs on a lead and away from any dead or dying birds.

If you find three or more dead wild waterfowl (such as swans, geese or ducks), gulls or birds of prey, or five or more dead birds of any species you should also report it to the government helpline: 03459 33 55 77

You should also call the helpline if you find a sick or dead bird on private land (including your own premises). Do not touch it and keep pets away.