There have been NEW outbreaks of bird flu confirmed at THREE new locations in Scotland.
NatureScot has confirmed the deadly disease has been detected in two locations near Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire.
The other was found near Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway.
This comes after several dead auks on the West Coast tested positive for bird flu.
These included a guillemot in Dumfries and Galloway, and a puffin, a razorbill and two guillemots in Kintyre.
Protective and monitoring measures have been taken at all three locations.
This means that the list of regions with a positive result for bird flu has been expanded to include: Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll, East Lothian, Fife and the Highlands.
But loud BBC NewsThe Environment Agency gave signs of hope after reporting that it had received fewer reports of dead birds since July.
In a statement obtained by the broadcaster, NatureScot said: “Bird deaths, particularly kittiwakes, guillemots and herring gulls, continue to be reported on our east coast shores, although we have been receiving fewer reports since the last week of July.”
“However, we are now seeing small numbers of affected seabirds in other parts of Scotland.
“Avian influenza has also been detected in the Northern Isles, with two arctic terns in Shetland testing positive, but there are currently no reports of widespread impact of avian influenza on seabirds in Shetland or Orkney.”
“Overall there are now positive bird flu test results from regions such as Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, East Lothian, Fife, Angus and Argyll.
“NatureScot and its partners continue to monitor key seabird sites and collect samples for testing.
“Test updates will be published by the Animal and Phytosanitary Administration.”
This comes as the carcasses of thousands of dead birds have been removed from Scottish shores in recent weeks.
Just a few weeks ago, an outbreak along the Aberdeenshire coast washed up over 2,000 dead birds on a beach in less than seven days.
Locals described the scenes as “like a horror movie”.
Avian flu, also known as avian influenza, is a rare virus that mainly spreads among birds but can sometimes affect humans.
It is similar to the common flu that typically affects people every year.
Nor is it too different from swine flu, which started a global pandemic more than a decade ago after it began to spread rapidly.
No one has ever been infected with bird flu in the UK, but deaths have occurred in other countries.
The virus is transmitted to humans when they touch infected birds, come into contact with their droppings, or when infected poultry is killed and eaten.
To avoid catching the flu, people should wash their hands before and after handling raw poultry and ensure all bird meat is properly cooked.
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