Posted on Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
David Waters reports on the birds eventful journey.
Following a dramatic trip back from Russia during the worst heatwave in years and amidst thick smog from the forest fires which threatened the flight departure - I'm delighted to announce that the chicks are all doing well. The BA cargo staff at Moscow Domodedovo were wonderful, as usual, and the chicks seemed to be in better condition when they arrived on Salisbury Plain than I was!
They were checked in at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and given food and water. Their identities were also checked to ensure that each bird corresponded with the accompanying paperwork. This is principally done by reading the microchips which were implanted in the birds by John Chitty, Project vet, in Russia during July.
The new arrivals have now had two of the quarantine checks. The first involved faecal analysis and taking blood samples for virology. The second was faecal analysis along with cloacal and pharyngeal ( Mouth/throat) swabs. These swabs are again for virology tests. The birds all seem to be in good health and the testing is carried out to ensure that no disease is introduced into the UK as well as to check that our birds are fine. All these tests must have negative results before the birds can be declared healthy at the end of the 30 days. At each check they are also weighed and once again I'm pleased to report that they are all growing steadily.