A public health boss has issued a warning about bird flu after three cases were confirmed in his borough.

Blackburn with Darwen's Abdul Razaq has told residents to avoid contact with wild birds and poultry.

He also said not to pick up dead birds.

Mr Razaq's intervention follows several cases across Lancashire including in Thompson and Towneley parks on Burnley.

A dead swan has also been discovered in the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Cherry Tree, Blackburn.

Paul White, owner of Paul's Turkeys in Laneshaw Bridge near Colne, has warned of a potential shortage of free-range festive birds this Christmas as well as rising prices.

Poultry keepers in England are legally required to house their birds indoors in a bid to tackle the spread of bird or avian flu - already the biggest outbreak in UK history.

Mr Razaq has revealed there have been three confirmed cases of avian flu in Blackburn with Darwen.

He said: "The risk of catching avian flu is low, but I would also strongly advise people to avoid contact with birds, especially wild birds and poultry.

"Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find and instead report them to the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301 and choose the relevant options.”

"For poultry keepers, you can help lower the risk of avian flu by following the government requirements and maintaining good biosecurity on your premises.

"The UK food standards agencies have said that avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for consumers.

"Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.”