Family of UK bird flu man trying to raise £10k to get his house disinfected

The family of an animal lover who was struck with bird flu have launched a £10k fundraiser in a bid to get his house disinfected.

Alan Gosling, 79, has been unable to step outside of his home because his property is considered contaminated after living with around 20 infected ducks in Buckfastleigh, Devon.

It comes after he was named the first Brit to be diagnosed for the H5N1 strain of avian flu after his flock of 160 fell sick at the end of last month.

His family have since released images of his adorable ducks after every single one of them was culled including his little ducklings.

It is understood that professional decontamination of the indoor areas has already been arranged, which is being led by the local authority.

But his family now fear they will have to stump for the cost of cleaning the inside his property.

Daughter-in-law Ellesha Gosling, 26, has set up a fundraiser in the hopes of covering the potential bill and said they will continue to push for answers.

She said: "I am very reassured dad is well physically, very reassured, but I have been very worried in terms of his mental health.

"We’ve had some ups and downs, some very low lows. It has been very overwhelming.

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"Dad can get more ducks, but he won't have the same rapport with them as he did with the others. They were his family."

Ellesha added that the family has not yet looked too far into the future – and are taking it just one day at a time.

She said: "[We will] be there for dad, keep in constant contact, and try and push to find a contractor to do the disinfection so we can go and see him.

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"We want to know when they’re going in and cleaning and disinfecting so we can see our father, and we want to know dad won’t have to pay but at the minute we don’t know that’s the case."

The family say it is unclear who will pay for the cleaning process.

A UK Health Security Agency spokesperson said: “The district council will carry out decontamination of the property when the risk of onward transmission has been minimised.

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"The person is being checked regularly to ensure their welfare is protected.”

An Animal and Plant Health Agency spokesperson said: “Our sympathies remain with the owner and all those with animals affected by this terrible disease.”

Teignbridge District Council have been approached for a comment.

The fundraiser reached more than £2,000 at the time of publishing. To donate visit here.

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