Poisoned Ducks Discovered In Glen Eden

Press Release – Fish and Game New Zealand

The shocking discovery of eight mallard ducks that had been poisoned in a public park has prompted a warning for pet owners from Auckland Waikato Fish & Game.

Fish & Game Officer John Dyer says ” We are concerned that someone near the Verdale Circle area in Glen Eden, West Auckland, has been careless or perhaps even reckless with a stupefying substance that killed eight mallard ducks”.

Wheat treated with a product called Alphachloralose was discovered in the dead birds’ gizzards by Officer Dyer.

Alphachloralose puts birds in a stupor from which they would not normally recover, and all eight had to be euthanised after being uplifted by the SPCA.

If a pet cat or dog had eaten a poisoned bird , the result can be fatal, unless the animal’s distress was detected quickly and taken to a vet.

If a pet is thought to have ingested such treated wheat, the owner should immediately remove the animal (or bird) to a warm place, keep it warm, (but not hot), and call a vet without delay for further instructions.

Using a poison to kill birds against the product’s label carries significant fines, precisely because of this potential for all manner of non-targeted species to be killed.

Although Alphachloralose is approved in some circumstances, there is an onus to use it responsibly or face serious legal consequences.

Officer Dyer suspects a pest-control contractor in a nearby industrial area may have inadvertently poisoned the ducks while perhaps targeting sparrow pests.

Care needs to be taken to ensure only smaller pest birds can access the bait, if they need to be controlled at all.

Similar recent cases involving Alphachloralose and inadvertent bird deaths have occurred in West Auckland and elsewhere in New Zealand.

If anyone has information about these duck deaths, please contact Fish & Game New Zealand, (attention John Dyer), or contact either the SPCA or Bird Rescue in Auckland.

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