IN THE wake of a nasty spate of poisonings that claimed up to 50 native birds in Bingara, community members banded together with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to sweep the streets on Tuesday.
Starting near the Bingara showground, the team were looking for the remains of dead birds and for pieces of bread that had been soaked in the insecticide Fenthion, which killed pee wees, currawongs and crows.
EPA manager of the Armidale region Simon Smith said the concentration of the raw insecticide suggested the poisonings were deliberate.
“We normally search for traces – you normally don’t get that sort of level of product,” Mr Smith said.
“It almost wrecked our machinery when we went to examine it.”
Although the EPA is aware of at least 50 bird deaths, Mr Smith suggested there may be more, with birds dying in private backyards and going unreported.
He said it was “quite distressing” for community members to find the remains of a little blue wren on
Tuesday and the EPA suspected the cause of death was the same pesticide.
The sweep did not yield any further samples of contaminated bread.
Mr Smith said locals held grave concerns that their domestic pets and even small children could become sick from contact with the poisoned birds.
“Poisoning is indiscriminate and to spread it like this has affected a lot of people.
“The message to get out to the person or persons who did this is that the community doesn’t accept it and they need to think twice.”