Dead ducks pose no risk to public


Bundaberg Regional Council has been advised that a veterinarian visited the Botanic Gardens this morning in response to a complaint to the Queensland Government on the weekend in relation to sick/dead ducks.

The vet has advised that no autopsy was conducted as the birds were too decomposed.

The vet was confident that the ducks had avian botulism, which is a regular occurrence throughout Queensland. It has occurred in the Botanic Gardens previously.

Council staff monitor the number and health of birds at the Botanic Gardens and have well-established processes to dispose of carcasses in a safe manner.

A spokesman said Council staff will undertake frequent monitoring over the next few days.

“There is no risk to public health as members of the public do not generally catch and consume fish, birds or maggots in the Botanic Gardens,” the spokesman said.

Outbreaks of avian botulism occur only when a variety of particular ecological factors occur concurrently.

This typically involves warmer water temperatures, anoxic (oxygen-deprived) conditions and adequate levels of bacterial substrate in the form of decaying plants, algae or animal materials.

Once these factors lead to production of the toxin in material eaten by fish, the toxin can be passed up the food chain as wild birds consume the contaminated fish or eat maggots from the decaying carcasses of infected individuals.

Ducks at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on Sunday
Ducks at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on Sunday. Three dead ducks were found at the gardens this morning.


  1. I’m sure all the bread that is fed to the ducks is detrimental to the health of the ducks and birds.
    Leftover bread in the ponds is detrimental to the lake’s water quality too.
    Duck food, corn, peas and oats could be sold at the cafe for duck feeders.

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