50+ dead birds found along the waterways in Kapiti, New ZealandMore Animal deaths are being reported as More than 50 dead birds, including ducks, gulls and a shag, had been collected by Kapiti Coast District Council and SPCA staff, following reports from residents and patrols of waterways.¬†An avian epidemiology expert is urging the public to dispose of dead birds and bring sick birds suspected of having avian botulism to a vet. ¬†Massey University veterinary, animal and biomedical sciences associate prof Brett Gartrell said while botulism was possible, it was not the only possible cause for the dead birds. Avian botulism is a toxin caused by a bacteria that lives in rotting vegetation – the same nerve toxin used in botox treatment, he said. When birds eat the toxin they become aggressively paralysed and die because of respiratory failure. ‘ ‘It’s not a nice way to die.” Botulism was difficult to prevent and popped up when least expected but tended to be “tend to be short explosive outbreaks ” A botulism outbreak could pass to pets that eat the dead birds but not humans. MORE