Dead ducks found in Ka­iapoi


Nearly 1000 birds have died at waste­water treat­ment plants in Can­ter­bury af­ter an out­break of botulism.

Water­fowl in­clud­ing ducks, teal and geese have been found dead at a treat­ment plant in Ka­iapoi, with more dis­cov­ered at other sites in Waimakariri and Christchurch.

The Ka­iapoi plant’s shal­low ponds and wet­lands are home to between 5000 and 6000 birds, in­clud­ing mal­lards, par­adise shel­ducks, black swans, teal and the New Zealand shov­eler.

Of­fi­cials es­ti­mate around 960 birds have been killed by the dis­ease over the past month, ac­count­ing for al­most 20 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion.

Waimakariri District Coun­cil util­i­ties and road­ing man­ager Ger­ard Cleary said the out­break first oc­curred in late Jan­uary, with botulism found in the plant’s six ox­i­da­tion and wet­land ponds.

Michael Bate, who took the footage, claimed there was ‘‘no ex­cuse for it’’.

‘‘In this day and age in a man­made en­vi­ron­ment we shouldn’t have botulism, not with the tech­nol­ogy we have got. They have got the tech­nol­ogy to make [the wa­ter] drink­able,’’ he said.

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