An urgent appeal has been launched by a wild bird rescue centre in Worcester,

Wychbold Swan Rescue staff say they are in desperate need of money after being told they must euthanise every bird at the centre last month.

Volunteer John Stewart explained that it is the second time in less than a year the centre has had to make such an appeal.

He said: “We are in desperate need of money, we need cash if we are to stay open.

“It is just a nightmare.”

He added: “Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to fundraise as normal and with costs spiralling at the moment, we wish to make an urgent plea to help us continue our work.

“We appreciate things are difficult for a lot of people right now but if you are able to help we would be very grateful.”

After culling the birds, a huge clean-up effort will now take place, meaning it could still be weeks before the centre returns to full operation.

“We lost about 60 birds and we have had to bag them up to be incinerated.

“Not only is there the cost of losing them, which we are devastated about, but the clean up after too.

“We have to disinfect the building from top to bottom and then the outside areas too.

“Then we have to wait 56 days, so it is a lengthy time until we are able to reopen.”

On November 3 an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) came into force across Great Britain and from Monday, November 29, housing measures will come into force across the UK, meaning all birdkeepers must keep their animals separated from wild birds.

Mr Stewart added: “Obviously we have been affected by the bird flu, which has hit up and down the country.

“It is a nasty thing, as people in Worcester can tell you from just walking down the river and it is really unpleasant this year.

“If we get called to a rescue from the police or the public, we are not allowed go out or do anything so it is proving quite awkward.”

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