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‘Zombie’ birds found with twisted necks after catching horrific disease

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 30 October 2022, 13:25 IST
‘Zombie’ birds found with twisted necks.

A horrifying disease affecting pigeons in Britain is transforming them into zombie birds suffering from horrific symptoms.

Pigeons afflicted with the illness on the island of Jersey have had to be put to death humanely.

The disease, known as pigeon paramyxovirus (PPMV) or Newcastle’s Disease, causes a host of neurological symptoms. Which include a violently twisted neck and trembling wings.

The birds also become thin, have green faces and walk in circles. They also cannot fly and are reluctant to move.

An animal sanctuary located in Jersey elucidated the disease is ‘invariably’ fatal to the creatures.

A spokesperson for the JSPCA Animal’s Shelter stated: ‘There has been an increase in the number of grounded pigeons coming into the JSPCA Animals’ Shelter in the last few weeks, many of which have been showing neurological signs such as twisted neck, circling or are unable to stand.

‘These are all signs of pigeon paramyxovirus, an invariably fatal viral disease that can affect pigeons, doves and poultry.’

‘It is a Notifiable Disease in captive birds [meaning suspected cases must be reported], but not wild birds.’

furthermore, the spokesperson confirmed that there’s no treatment for the illness and that ‘many birds die within a few days’.

‘Any that do survive will continue to shed the virus and be a risk to other birds. At the JSPCA, affected birds are humanely euthanased', they added.

‘The disease is extremely infectious and spread through faeces and other secretions.

‘The virus can survive longer in the wetter, colder months, meaning clusters of cases are more common at this time of year.’

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First published: 30 October 2022, 13:25 IST