Signs have been put up in a number of parks banning Brits from feeding ducks and swans amid fears of bird flu.
London’s Royal Parks have urged locals to halt the family-popular activity on government advice.
Authorities say this is because throwing food at birds encourages them to all band together, increasing the likelihood of spreading the disease.
Signs have been put up at Round Pond in Kensington Gardens showing a hand piercing a duck with a dash in a red circle.
In the meantime, the famous pelicans in St. James’ Park are confined to their enclosure and are not allowed to roam freely as usual.
It comes after some birds in Hyde Park are suspected to have died from bird flu, although test results are not yet available.
The disease is now believed to have killed a third of the flock of royal swans on the Thames, while charities say they have pulled 66 dead swans from the waters of Windsor Castle.
The UK is currently in the midst of a record outbreak of bird flu.
A Royal Parks spokesman said: “As managers of large open spaces in London, we remain very concerned about the current outbreak of avian flu in the UK.
“We cannot prevent wild birds from catching the virus but we are conducting increased surveillance of our waters to look for signs of disease and to ensure any dead birds are removed immediately.
“We are following all instructions from Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and as a result our pelican colony at St James’s Park has been moved to their Duck Island enclosure.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said: “This is the worst outbreak of bird flu we have ever seen and over 60 different species of wild birds have been affected in the UK.
“So far, avian flu has been predominantly reported in species not normally found in gardens and our advice remains that while people ensure good hygiene at bird feeding stations, people can still feed garden birds.
“This includes regularly cleaning outdoor bird feeders with a mild disinfectant, removing old bird seed, spacing bird feeders as far apart as possible, and washing hands.”
Anyone who sees a sick or injured bird is urged not to touch it.
Instead, they can report them directly to the RSPCA.
If you are in the Royal Parks, sick or injured birds can also be reported on 0300 061 2000.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6773420/people-banned-feeding-ducks-swans-avian-flu/ People are banned from feeding ducks and swans in parks over fears of bird flu, as signs warn not to “feed the birds”.