Having trouble getting this info posted as I did it previously with
attachments and always too big for acceptance. Typing skills not the best so
Bowen Independent. Wednesday 11 August 1999.
Council update on bird deaths by Jon Gibbons*
Bowen Shire Council has recently obtained results from the Qld. National
Parks and Wildlife Service in relation to the bird kills in Collinsville and
As reported in the BI previously 4 and 6 August, the chemical fenthion
The results show that the three bird specimens contained 1.9mg, 700mg and
3800mg per kg of fenthion in their stomach and intestine contents otherwise
the birds were in good condition.
Fenthion is a moderately toxic compound with trade names: Bay 29493, Baycid,
Baytex, Dalf, DMTP, Enfex, Lebaycid, Mercaptophos, Prentox Fenthion 4E,
Queletex, S1752, Spotton, Taladox and Tiguvon.
Fenthion is available in dust, emulsified concentrate, liquid concentrate,
spray concentrate ULV and wettable powder formulations.
Fenthion is an organ-phosphate insecticide used to control sucking and
biting pests. It is moderately toxic to animals and highly toxic to birds.
Based on this high toxicity to birds, fenthion is used in various parts of
the world for weaver bird control. Pest control operators have used it to
control pigeons around public buildings.
In animals and humans fenthion is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream via
the digestive tract, lungs and skin.
In water bodies it can kill fresh water animals such as mussels, plankton
Acute symptoms of fenthion poisoning in birds include tearing of the eyes,
foaming salivation, lack of movement, tremors, congestion in wind pipe, lack
of coordination in walking and an abnormally rapid rate of breathing or
Also reported in the Bowen Independent were the recent bird deaths in South
africa and Podor attributable to fenthion. More than 6 million birds were
killed in these areas within weeks following the use of Queletox containing
an active ingredient fenthion.
While the use of Queletox in these cases had been directed at seed eating
birds causing crop losses to farmers, many ohter non-target species
including herons and cranes have died together with vultures and other
raptor birds which have consumed dead birds.
As can be seen from this information, fenthion can have a dramatic affect on
Council has released this information in the hope that public knowledge
regarding the use of fenthion containing products is heightened in an effort
to prevent more bird deaths.
Users of agricultural chemicals are reminded to read labels thoroughly
before usage and to discard empty chemical containers carefully. Councils
Drummuster collection point is available for rinsed empty chemical
containers. Enquiries may be directed to council health and environmental
services section on 07 4786 0633.
* Jon Gibbons is Bowen Shire Council Director of Health and Environmental
As far as I am aware the suspect has not been charged to date. These bird
deaths continue, now into its third month. When is enough, enough?
PO Box 868
Bowen (Climate Capital of Australia)
Phone 07 4786 2614H
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