No more deaths in suspected avian botulism outbreak, park bosses say

A suspected avian botulism outbreak in Goodmayes Park appears to have ended. 

Park officials say that no further dead birds or wildlife have been found or reported at the park since 20 waterfowl were recovered from the park’s lake earlier this month. 

An investigation was launched into the cause of the deaths, with symptoms exhibited by the birds prior to their deaths making avian botulism (AB) the prime suspect.

The park is managed by the council's leisure contractor, Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure. 

Christian Gibson, operations and grounds maintenance manager for Vision told the Recorder that Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) had told him they were “99.5 per cent sure it was AB”. 

Geese in Goodmayes Park, believed to have died of the mystery illness

An investigation has started into the deaths of birds, including geese, in Goodmayes Park - Credit: Supplied

He said that the government department had given recommendations – including keeping the water body moving, water levels high, and encouraging water hygiene – which he said Vision already carry out. 

Defra said that the suspected outbreak remained under investigation. 

Avian botulism outbreaks in wild water birds occur relatively frequently in England and Wales, according to an Animal and Plant Health Agency report, and often lead to large numbers of deaths.