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Oldham, Manchester, UK: Avian Botulism

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    Posted: July 13 2018 at 3:12pm

Park sealed off as ducks found dead in suspected 'avian botulism' outbreak

Emergency services were called to Alexandra Park in Oldham on Friday night after a number of birds were found dead in the lake

Updated22:44, 13 JUL 2018

A park iin Oldham was taped off following a suspected ‘avian botulism’ outbreak.

Emergency services were called to Alexandra Park on Friday night after a number of birds - said to be ducks - were found dead in the lake.

They are currently testing water samples from the park to confirm the theory that the animals died as a result of avian botulism – a disease that affects wild and captive birds and is often fatal.

Outbreaks are common in England and Wales, but are more frequent during warm summers.

Alexandra Park was closed off for several hours, with officials at the scene telling the M.E.N that it would remain shut until warning signs were put up.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Public Health England,, Oldham Council the ambulance service and the RSPCA were all involved in the operation.

Police were also alerted to the incident.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said that ‘where possible’ sick birds have been taken to local vets.

They added: “This is a very distressing situation and it is suspected the birds are suffering from avian botulism, a disease which sadly is quite common in extremely hot weather.

“Where possible, we have contained and transported sick birds to local vets.

“We have been working closely with the park authorities who have responsibility for the site and advising them on how to deal with the situation. We will continue to assist as necessary.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said that three crews attended, along with a Tactical Response Unit and Water Incident Unit.

They said: “We were called at 5.33pm to reports that a number of birds had died in the water at the park.

“We are assisting authorities as they work to establish the cause of the deaths.”

Late on Friday, Oldham Council posted on Twitter that the park would be open to the public on Saturday, but issued a warning to park users.

Aviation botulism does not present a risk to human health, however people should seek further advice if they have been into the water or ingested it.

According to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, birds who contract the disease are unable to use their legs or wings and they can’t fly. It can also paralyse a bird’s neck muscles stopping it from holding its head.

They say the creatures can remain in this state for a number of days and death is often due to respiratory failure and/or drowning.

Join the Manchester Evening News breaking news Facebook group for a place to read and talk about breaking news in Greater Manchester.


What is avian botulism?

According to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, birds who contract the disease are unable to use their legs or wings and they can’t fly.

It can also paralyse a bird’s neck muscles stopping it from holding its head.

They say the creatures can remain in this state for a number of days and death is often due to respiratory failure and/or drowning.

Source:  https:///www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/avian-botulism-alexandra-park-oldham-14907701

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