SWANS found dead in Clackmannanshire will be examined for bird flu, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

The three birds were recently discovered dead at Gartmorn Dam, and a post-mortem is set to be carried out as part of disease surveillance measures.

The Advertiser contacted various organisations about the discovery of the birds and asked whether there were any concerns about possible bird flu.

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson referred to there being “a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK”.

They then said: “As part of routine wildlife disease surveillance, post-mortem examinations of birds are undertaken where any ‘at risk’ species, in particular, any wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls, are found dead.

“We ask that the public remain vigilant and report any findings of dead wild birds.”

Earlier this week and following the unexplained death of the three birds locally, Clackmannanshire Council also asked people to report any deceased or unwell swans spotted at Gartmorn Dam.

When asked whether that post was issued due to concerns about possible bird flu in the area, a council spokesperson declined to comment.

Bird flu - or avian flu - is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds.

In rare cases, it can affect humans – but nobody in the UK has ever been infected with any of the four strains that have caused concern in recent years.

There are currently outbreaks of bird flu affecting birds in parts of England.

Indeed, according to the GOV.UK website there have been eight instances of avian flu detected over the border in recent weeks.

A post on the website added: “In each case Defra has acted quickly to cull affected birds and to introduce movement restrictions to limit the risk of the disease spreading.”

In a bid to reassure people about the risks bird flu poses, the Scottish Government spokesperson who responded to the Advertiser said: “Public health advice is that the risk to human health from the virus is very low.

“Food standards bodies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers, and it does not affect the consumption of poultry products including eggs.”

For more information about bird flu, visit nhs.uk/conditions/bird-flu/.