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Finland opens oil treatment centre for birds

By RIA Novosti,

Stockholm : The world’s first mobile treatment unit for birds affected by oil spills opened in south Finland Tuesday, the country’s environment ministry said.

The treatment unit, set up by local authorities jointly with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), comprises special containers that can be easily transported to an oil spill by sea or land to provide emergency medical assistance to birds.

The containers are kitted out with veterinary equipment, cleaning and drying facilities and are capable of housing up to 150 birds for a period of two weeks.

Birds in the Baltic sea often become contaminated by oil spills, which occur near Estonia and Sweden. The new mobile containers will be able to deal with contaminated birds not only in the Baltic states but also in other regions.

Birds caught up in oil slicks usually die without human intervention as the chemicals penetrate the bird’s plumage causing hypothermia, and they also ingest the oil, which causes internal damage.