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Castle Sands warning issued as Avian Flu confirmed near Ladybank, Fife

A warning not to touch dead birds has been issued on the path towards Castle Sands Beach with the notice that avian flu may be a possible cause.

Castle Sands reopened on Thursday morning following a significant rock fall on the evening of Monday 2 January. Access to the beach was restricted whilst Fife Council completed an assessment of the overall safety and stability of the area.

Fife Council and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust urge people not to touch wild bird feathers and to keep dogs away from dead or sick birds. This comes after a particularly severe outbreak of the virus at the end of last year, with sea birds suffering the most.

The Scottish government confirmed the existence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) near Ladybank, Fife and annexed the infected premises at Daftmill Farm, KY15 5RF.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, bird flu poses a very low risk to the general public’s health. At the same time, the BBC reported that bird flu has persisted for much longer than the usual autumn outbreak and has been the worst wave of bird flu in Europe and the US.

According to the chief executive of the British Poultry Council, Richard Griffiths, half of the 1.3 million free range birds produced for Christmas 2022 in the UK were culled or died due to bird flu.

Dead sea birds found by the public should be reported to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs hotline: 03459 335577.

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