Wednesday, August 8, 2012

U.S.: Newcastle Disease suspected in Minn. Bird Die-Offs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A virus suspected to be Newcastle disease has killed hundreds of birds on Pigeon Lake in west-central Minnesota and on Minnesota Lake in southern Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday.

Around 700 double-breasted cormorants, 100 pelicans and some gulls, herons and egrets had been found sick and dead as of last week at Pigeon Lake, near Litchfield, while fewer than 100 birds were affected at Minnesota Lake, in Faribault County. DNR wildlife veterinarian Erika Butler said final lab results are expected later this month, but tests have ruled out avian influenza, also known as bird flu.

Other bird die-offs have been reported this summer on Leech Lake and Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota and the Canadian side of Rainy Lake. Test results on those birds are also expected in two or three weeks, Butler said.

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