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LABARRE, La. - Around 500 dead blackbirds and starlings have been found in Pointe Coupee Parish, according to state wildlife officials.
The birds were spotted lying in roads and ditches near Labarre Elementary School. The community is between Morganza and New Roads on Highway 10.
Scientists from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have been sent out to collect samples, which will be sent for testing to the University of Georgia and National Wildlife Center in Wisconsin.
Molluscs have for many centuries been the source of important luxury goods, notably pearls, mother of pearl, Tyrian purple dye, and sea silk. Their shells have also been used as money in some pre-industrial societies. There is a risk of food poisoning from toxins that accumulate in molluscs under certain conditions, and many countries have regulations that aim to minimize this risk.