This is the latest on the lake crisis: Dave Wilkinson, Assistant Director for Trading and Property Services, said:
“The Animal and Plant Health Agency have now confirmed that the ducks at Sandall Park have died from a toxin that is produced by decaying vegetation at the bottom of the lake, made worse by the hot weather. The ducks have been feeding on the rotting vegetation and the toxin is poisoning them.
“We are working closely with the Friends of Sandall Park and the Angling club to ensure all dead and sick animals are removed from the lake and the area is safe for all visitors. If you do see sick or injured ducks or other wildlife, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”
This is information about what’s caused it all: type C avian botulism comes from a bacteria that grows in lake sediment and outbreaks are more common during spells of very warm weather. Avian botulism has never been reported to be associated with human disease and the risk to human health from Type C botulism is therefore considered to be very low. Nick Wellington has spoken to APHA’ wildfowl expert who confirms that the spell of hot weather has caused similar incidents across the country. APHA continue to recommend that anyone handling affected birds should undertake appropriate personal hygiene measures (including thorough handwashing and not touching face).
Outbreaks of avian botulism can last for several weeks and may recur. If anyone is interested in more information about Avian botulism the APHA guidance is very good: http://apha.defra.gov.uk/…/surv…/diseases/avian-botulism.pdf