Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary staff are ‘traumatized’ as all the birds are killed after a fight to save them

An animal rescue center in Whitby had to cull all of its birds after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed.

The highly contagious flu was identified at the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary after capturing a number of roosters.

The birds died while in isolation and tests confirmed the presence of the disease.

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As a result, Defra has confirmed that it culled the remaining birds in its isolation unit.

Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary said they “worked hard to protect” the animals and there were “no signs of illness” but it was deemed “too risky to spare any”.

In a post on their Facebook page today (Monday), the sanctuary confirmed that all birds on site had been culled, a decision which was “in no way our choice”.

A spokesperson said: “There were no signs of disease in any of the wild birds here, all were away from the infected area and covered with their own biosecurity in place.

“However, the APHA deemed it too risky to spare any of them. As we learned this week, a negative test result does not prevent a bird from being put down.”

The sanctuary said the week had been “traumatic” for them and that the negative messages sent their way “are cruel and unnecessary, especially since no one outside of our organization knows the extent of the work we have. done this week.”

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An Avian Flu Prevention Zone came into effect in November 2021, making it a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors or in nets and away from wild birds.

A 3 km (1.86 mile) surveillance zone has been placed around the centre, Defra added.

A sanctuary said: “We do not yet know when we will be able to allow volunteers to return to the site, or when we will be able to resume our usual work. We will post another update when we can.”

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