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28 May 2020 22:55
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  •   Home > News > Health & Safety

    A Christmas warning to Cantabrians hoping to spend the summer swimming in their local river

    A Christmas warning to Cantabrians hoping to spend the summer swimming in their local river


    Fish and Game commissioned tests of the Ashley, Selwyn and Rangitata rivers after concerns about the increasing number of dairy cows in the district - and had some concerning results.

    Chief executive Martin Taylor says they've found several strains of E. coli in the rivers - including one that can cause diarrhoea and kidney failure.

    He says he wouldn't risk taking his family to swim there.



    And the finger's being pointed at dairy farms.

    Chief executive Martin Taylor says several of the E. coli strains are only found in ruminants - in other words cows.

    He says it's not a surprise - with more than 1.3 million cows in Canterbury.

    Taylor says this means 32 billion litres of effluent is produced every year - and a lot of it sits around until it gets washed into the waterways.

    © 2020 Newstalk ZB, NZCity


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