Avian influenza (bird flu) - current update: 

Avian influenza has been detected in seagull colonies in some parts of the Sussex coastline.

The UK Health Security Agency has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the public’s health is very low. However, you are advised not to touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find.

If you see any of the below you must report them to Defra on 03459 33 55 77:

  • three or more dead swans or geese
  • any single dead wild duck, gull or bird of prey
  • where five or more dead birds are found

If you are advised by Defra to contact us so that any birds can be removed, please call us on 01903 851729.

Full information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Animal welfare


Information about:

See also :

Dead animals or birds

See also: Avian influenza (bird flu) - current update (above)

Adur & Worthing Councils will remove, or arrange to remove, dead animals (eg cats, dogs, badgers, foxes), birds and larger animals, (eg deer), from public land and highway's including verges, except for the A27 which is the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

Adur & Worthing Councils will also arrange removal of dead animals found washed up on the beach (eg dolphins, seals, whales).

Dead animals will normally be removed within 48 hours of being reported to ensure that it does not pose a health hazard.

The removal of dead animals from private land is the duty of the landowner.

Usually the bodies of domestic pets will be retained for a day or so (depending upon their condition), to allow time for their owners to collect them, should they so wish.

Adur & Worthing Councils scan dead domestic pets to see whether they have an electronic tag. We use the tag number to obtain the owners contact details. We also keep a record of all dead domestic pets collected and, as far as possible this is matched against the log of all animals reported missing to us.

When you report a dead animal to us please ensure you supply the following information:

  • location of the dead animal (eg an adjacent or nearby address)
  • brief details of the animal (such as type, colour, size)
  • and the time at which you saw the animal

Report dead animals or birds:

If you would like to report a dead animal that you have seen please ring 01903 851729 or send waste an e-mail or use the:

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Agricultural livestock

If you find any dead agricultural livestock (eg a cow, sheep, pig or horse), we will attempt to find and instruct the owner to remove as appropriate.

When you report a dead animal to us please ensure you supply the following information:

  • location of the dead animal including:
    • an adjacent or nearby address
    • road number if known (eg A283)
    • nearby local landmarks or features if on a country road
  • details of the animal (such as type, colour, size, condition, etc)
  • and the time at which you saw the animal

If you would like to report any dead agricultural livestock that you have seen please ring 01903 851729 or send waste an e-mail or use the:

See also (further down this page):

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Injured animals or birds and animal cruelty - RSPCA

RSPCAIf you find an injured animal or bird then please report it to the RSPCA's 24-hour national cruelty and advice line. You will need to provide details of the animal and precise location.

Where possible and safe to do so, confine the animal and/or stay with it, keeping it quiet, still and warm. Do NOT attempt to feed or give water to any injured animal.

Although the RSPCA can be contacted at any time of day or night, RSPCA inspectors can only attend calls outside normal office hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) in an emergency. The Society will always do its best to help an animal in need.

The Society relies entirely on voluntary donations, so please understand that its resources are far more limited than the other emergency services.

You can also refer to the RSPCA website which give advice on a wide range of subjects:

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Advice about sick and injured birds - RSPB

RSPBYou can also refer to the RSPB website for information and advice about:

See also on our website :

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Farm animal welfare line - RSPCA

RSPCAThe RSPCA has a farm animal welfare line to provide support to farmers and livestock owners.

The service is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

Calls will be handled by a dedicated team, and, if necessary, passed onto frontline RSPCA staff to assess what help is needed.

See also: Report dead agricultural livestock (above)

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Animal disease: Bluetongue, Foot & Mouth Disease, Bovine TB (tuberculosis), Swine influenza, Avian influenza (bird flu), Schmallenberg virus, etc

These diseases are monitored and controlled by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).

For news of the latest situation, control or contingency plans, movement guidance, licences, useful information and interactive maps of current restriction zones regarding these issues please see the relevant DEFRA webpages:

See also: Report dead agricultural livestock (above)

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Page last updated: 09 August 2022

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