Unknown illness killing ducks in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 15:14 27 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:24 28 July 2015

Verulamium park in St Albans

Verulamium park in St Albans

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Dog walkers have been warned about the dangers of letting their pets enter a park lake following a string of duck deaths.

The public noticed posted on Facebook by Inn on the ParkThe public noticed posted on Facebook by Inn on the Park

An unknown illness has affected the waterfowl at Verulamium Park, resulting in numerous feathered fatalities.

Dog owners have allegedly been told to take their pet to the vet if it drinks from the lake, as the unidentified condition killing the ducks could be harmful to dogs too.

Duane Hutchinson, 20, of Jersey Farm, told the Herts Advertiser that he was encouraged to take his two dogs to the vet following a visit to the park.

Duane was walking them on Thursday (16) when he first noticed eight dead ducks in the water.

Verulamium park in St AlbansVerulamium park in St Albans

He said: “We thought it was a bit strange but decided to leave it and we went home.”

After revisiting the park on the Tuesday (21), he spotted a further two ducks dead in the water and then alerted St Albans Parks and Green Spaces.

He claimed he was told to take his dogs to the vet because they had consumed water from the lake.

Duane added: “It was a very hot day, of course my dogs are going to drink out of the water, but what I couldn’t believe was that there were no clear signs telling people that their dogs shouldn’t be in the Lake.”

Verulamium park in St AlbansVerulamium park in St Albans

The Inn on the Park, a café situated inside Verulamium, posted a picture on Facebook on Friday (24) of a small notice which had since been put up by the council.

Richard Shwe, head of community services at St Albans district council, said that they have not been able to indentify the illness, but they are working closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the RSPCA to monitor the situation.

Tests have been taken to identify the cause of the deaths and the council are currently waiting on the results.

He added: “We have placed signs around the lake to keep people informed. These also advise dog owners to keep their pets out of the water as a precaution.”

Do you have any experience of this? Do you have anything to comment on the situation? If so, please get in touch: sophie.crockett@hertsad.co.uk.

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