Send for the duck docs

Shooting Times & Country|March 18, 2020

Send for the duck docs
Disease among our wildfowl is thankfully rare but how prepared would Great Britain be to deal with such an outbreak, wonders Stanley Duncan
Stanley Duncan

Rarely in this country do we meet with disease in wildfowl. The only instance I can recall was attributable to pollution by the over-abundance of a colony of blackheaded gulls, when ducklings died through the state of the water. The remedy was a reduction of the gull colony. In subsequent years there was no recurrence of the trouble.

Pigeon diphtheria — a canker on feet and bill of woodpigeon — is a malady not prevalent at present yet I have seen it very bad and hundreds, probably thousands of birds affected with it. The pigeon appear in a thin and emaciated condition and eventually die. Birds affected have often reached us from the Continent, for the most part “late breds” — that is,in late summer — and it is understood the disease is contagious.

But of British wildfowl we have no disease worth mentioning. The migratory habit over sea and land sustains this remarkable status. While there is but one “animal” that dominates the world today — Man — the fact remains that British wildfowl in winter are not so much at his mercy as might be supposed.

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March 18, 2020