FEARS a strain of botulism had broken out at High Legh Fisheries have been quashed by experts.

Earlier this month, a member of the Warrington Anglers Association reported dead wildfowl floating in the water at former commercial fishery near Arley Hall.

The incident coincided with a number of reports of dead wildfowl found across the North West, including in Manchester, St Helens and Liverpool.

Investigations into whether the deaths were linked to avian botulism, a paralytic disease that affects wild and captive bird populations, were carried out Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).

No evidence was found to suggest the deaths were caused by the disease.

A spokesperson for the AHVLA said: “In recent weeks we have received a number of reports of dead wildfowl in north west England. Our investigations have found no evidence of a notifiable animal disease or risk to human health.

“AHVLA investigates several incidents of suspected avian botulism in waterbirds each year in England and Wales.

“The disease is not unusual although it may be associated with deaths in wild birds. Anyone finding five or more dead wild birds should call the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55 77.”