Three further swans have been found dead in a Glasgow park thought to be at the centre of a bird flu outbreak.
Experts have removed the corpses of nine dead birds following reports that 12 had been discovered at Hogganfield Park on Tuesday.
Glasgow City Council said DEFRA investigators had also removed three of the birds to test whether the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus – currently experiencing its largest-ever outbreak in the UK – is to blame for the deaths.
The local authority said there were still no plans for a cull, but added further deaths were “likely” as an island in the middle of the nature reserve’s loch was “inaccessible at this time”.
The remaining nine dead birds have been removed and disposed by an external contractor.
An “avian flu protection zone” has been declared across Britain during the unfolding battle against the strain.
All poultry and captive birds in England are now under strict household curfews in an effort to stop the disease jumping from wild to domestic animals.
A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Staff from DEFRA have visited the park to remove three swans to test for the disease, but in-line with advice from DEFRA, we are assuming the birds have died from avian flu.
“We are monitoring our parks regularly and will seek to remove any dead birds as quickly as possible.
“Members of the public are advised to avoid any contact with a dead bird or any bird that appears to be visibly sick. Dog owners are also advised to keep their pets on a lead while in the park in case they encounter a dead bird.
“If anyone sees a dead or sick bird in public places across the city, they should report this to our environmental health team through our website or by calling 0141 287 1059.”