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Red grouse tests positive for avian influenza in Scotland

A case of avian influenza in grouse has been confirmed just before the season starts, reports Steve Faragher

red grouse

There is no further information on where the affected bird was tested or found

A case of avian influenza (AI) has been confirmed in a red grouse on the Scottish Borders, just ahead of the start of the season. The case was logged on the Government’s ‘Avian Influenza in Wild Birds’ record online. There is no further information on where the bird was tested or found.

It was one of 49 cases reported in the week beginning 23 July, with 42 cases reported last week. Of 888 cases reported so far this year, it is the first and only managed quarry bird to be identified with the disease.

Season cancellation calls

There have been many calls from anti-shooting groups for the season to be cancelled this year in light of the threat of bird flu, but at the time of writing, preparations remain in full swing.

Former head of the National Gamekeepers Association and ST contributor Lindsay Waddell said: “If this bird was captive, then the biosecurity was not in place to keep other birds out. As far as grouse go, it’s unlikely they will get it in the wild as they do not congregate in the numbers that keep this virus circulating.”