West Midlands Fire Service last night dismissed claims it would refuse to attend incidents involving birds following growing fears of avian flu.
Reports quoting an alleged leaked memo from deputy chief fire officer Vijith Randeniya claimed firefighters had been told not to attend calls to stranded or distressed birds, even if requested to do so by the
RSPCA. It was also claimed that if they attended 'bird incidents' where human life was at risk, they should wear full chemical protection suits.
Mr Randeniya was 'disappointed' by the claims which he said gave a "wholly misleading impression that firefighters will not be attending fires".
He said: "We recently confirmed that our operating
procedure for dealing with trapped and distressed animals is to refer the caller to the RSPCA as it is their responsibility to deal with animals in distress." RSPCA chief inspector for the West Midlands Tim Scott said he was unaware of the claims.