25/06/2023
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Suspected bird flu outbreak at RSPB Saltholme

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More than 300 birds are suspected to have died from bird flu at RSPB Saltholme, Cleveland.

Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns have been affected "so far" according to the RSPB Saltholme site manager, Claire Freeburn. One of the UK's largest inland breeding colonies of Common Tern is found at the Teesside reserve.


Common Tern has been impacted by an apparent bird flu outbreak at RSPB Saltholme (Nick Appleton).

Ms Freeburn told BBC News: "RSPB Saltholme has recently reported suspected cases … Testing will now follow. So far, around 300 Black-headed Gulls have been reported dead."

She urged the government to respond to "this crisis with the true urgency needed" and described the scenes at Saltholme as being "not only distressing" but also of concern as "the UK's worst outbreak takes hold yet again across the country".

Visitors to the site, near Billingham, have been advised not to touch any birds that are dead or visibly sick.