Local residents and visitors are advised that the warning about avian botulism at Lake Buloke has been lifted and the lake is now accessible by the public.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Regional Manager for Environment and Natural Resources Aaron Gay said: “DELWP officers have removed signs at the lake warning people there may be avian botulism in the area”.

“As the land manager of the lake, DELWP has worked closely with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Game Management Authority (GMA) to resolve this issue and ensure the site is now safe for the public and animals to use,” Mr Gay said.

“DELWP Officers have regularly patrolled the site since the first incident in March and have found no further signs suggesting the presence of botulism.”

DEDJTR Manager Veterinary Science, Dr Cameron Bell, said: “Avian botulism was suspected in affected birds at the lake, as clinical signs that are typical for the disease, namely leg and wing paralysis, were observed in birds and alternative disease conditions were ruled out.”

Laboratory investigation by DEDJTR also ruled out the presence of any emergency animal disease.

Avian botulism is a neuromuscular illness of birds that is caused by toxins produced by a naturally occurring bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.

Outbreaks occur when environmental conditions are favourable, such as when water temperatures are high, and where there are low oxygen levels and high levels of organic material in the water.