Process Management

News 189 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Ducks killed from eating mouldy grains

Two thousand mallard ducks in the state of Idaho, USA likely died after they ate mouldy grain and contracted a fatal infection, according to scientists.

Paul Slota, a wildlife expert with the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center, said a fungal infection known as aspergillosis was the likely killer. "The results are certainly consistent with that diagnosis," Slota said.
The preliminary finding eased fears that the massive mallard die-off, which experts say is unprecedented in Idaho, was linked to bird flu.

Potential sources of moulds
An estimated 2,000 mallards died in less than a week time. State fish and game officers retrieved carcasses from a stream clogged with dead and dying mallards. The stream is surrounded by farmland and a cattle feedlot, potential sources of the mouldy grain, officials said.

Concerns over the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu and an extensive national monitoring network prompted officials to submit samples from Idaho to labs specializing in detecting avian influenza and drew the US Department of Homeland Security into the investigation.

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