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Warning for visitors to Raven Hall Nature Conservation Reserve

Monday 3 December, 2012

Parks Victoria urges neighbours to Raven Hall Nature Conservation Reserve in Melbourne’s North-west to ensure that their pets do not enter the park following an outbreak of botulism, which has caused the death of a number of waterbirds over the past two days.

Botulism is a naturally occurring toxin produced by the bacterial disease found in decaying matter, usually during hot weather conditions. The waterbirds appear to have ingested the toxin by feeding on the affected matter.

Parks Victoria rangers are working to remove the affected birds and will continue to monitor the situation.

Parks Victoria Regional Manager Chris Hardman said: “It is obviously upsetting seeing any native wildlife affected by disease. Parks Victoria is working with Melbourne Water, neighbours and other government agencies to manage the situation.  Our priority is to ensure we don’t have any pet deaths following this incident and ask that neighbours and visitors please monitor their pets.”

Affected animals display symptoms of progressive weakness.

Visitors and neighbours are encouraged to err on the side of caution, and seek veterinary assistance if at all concerned.

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