60 dead #birds found ‘due to disease’ in #Weymouth and #Portland, #UK
AT LEAST 60 herring gulls have been reported dead across Weymouth and Portland following a disease outbreak.
It is understood that the birds have most likely been dying due to a suspected outbreak of avian botulism.
According to the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, avian botulism is a paralytic and often fatal disease caused by ingestion of toxin produced by bacteria found in rotting plant and animal material.
These outbreaks are frequent in this country but are more common during hot weather and can last for weeks, resulting in several hundreds of bird deaths.
Many of the dead gulls have been found in the swannery at Radipole Lake, near to the The Gurkha restaurant in Weymouth, where there is a build up of green algae – a possible source of the outbreak.
Algae blooms are said to occur naturally in hot weather and the swannery has been affected in previous years.
Bimlashar Gurung, manager of The Gurkha restaurant, said it is starting to affect her business: “Everyone is saying it is our fault but there is nothing we can do.
“I clean up the litter and all the rubbish that everyone leaves, sometimes when our bin is full I take it home myself, but we have been told that we are not allowed to touch the dead birds.
“Customers complain that it is hot inside because of the weather but we can’t open the window because of the smell from the water and people don’t want to sit outside anymore in the summer because they can see the dead birds.
“This is supposed to be our peak season and it is costing us money that the council is not cleaning this up. There is one dead bird that has been there for a week. I’m not happy with the council and I’m really upset. They need to take action.”
She added: “We have been here 14 years and every summer it’s a problem. Last week we took down four or five dead birds off the roof.”
Although the area around The Gurkha restaurant is not part of the RSPB Radipole Lake nature reserve, staff there have tried to help find a solution to the problem.
Courtesy of dorsetecho.co.uk