June 18, 2007

RSPCA: Government Must "Rule Out Badger Cull Once and For All" [Press Release]
18 Jun 2007
Area: United Kingdom

The RSPCA is calling on the Government to rule out a badger cull once and for all. This follows the publication today of the most thorough and robust scientific study(1) ever produced on the effects of badger culling on the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. "We know that there has been enormous pressure from those who favour a cull," says John Rolls, RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion.

"We hope that they will all now read this study carefully and stop referring to less rigorous and anecdotal evidence. The Government is to be congratulated for resisting the emotive and financial arguments to cull before the research was published. We have consistently supported the view that any policy on badgers must be based on the sound, scientific evidence. We now have that evidence. The Government must now formally rule out a badger cull once and for all."

Cattle Testing Shows No Further Cases of Brucellosis

The Associated Press (Posted by Great Falls Tribune)
18 Jun 2006
Area: Montana, USA

More tests for brucellosis have turned up negative, and the state is nearly finished testing cattle that could have had contact with the disease, livestock officials said Friday. Test results on 490 head of cattle showed no further cases. If another case of brucellosis, first found last month in a Bridger cattle herd, turns up, Montana will lose its coveted disease-free status.

That, experts say, would cost producers business opportunities and millions of dollars in testing each year. "We're all breathing another sigh of relief at the moment, yet our disease investigation continues and more testing will be required," said Dr. Jeanne Rankin, acting state veterinarian. The Livestock Department's laboratory in Bozeman has now tested 2,252 cattle since the Bridger herd was hit with the disease last month.

State Sticks With Feedgrounds

Casper Star Tribune
16 Jun 2007
W Royster
Area: Wyoming, USA

Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials don't intend to eliminate feedgrounds or reduce elk feeding in the Gros Ventre area, even as a nearby federal feedground is looking to reduce the number of winter elk on feed. The option of closing the three Gros Ventre feedgrounds was popular with conservationists who believe concentrated elk on feed increases the chances of disease transmission, including chronic wasting disease.

But it was not on the table as Game and Fish officials outlined a brucellosis management action plan for the Jackson elk herd. The state agency said it will work in concert with a recently signed bison and elk management plan calling for fewer elk on feed by increasing hunting pressure on the Grand Teton National Park elk herd segment -- those that mainly winter on the federal National Elk Refuge.

Deadly Fish Virus Not Here Still, DNR Warns Anglers To Be On the Lookout For Disease
Jackson Citizen-Patriot - mlive.com
16 Jun 2007
H Klaft
Area: Michigan, USA

Jackson County's lakes are safe for now from a fish virus that has alarmed state and federal officials.Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, a disease that has killed thousands of fish in the Great Lakes, has not been discovered in any of Jackson's more than 40 inland lakes, Department of Natural Resources officials said. The disease makes fish bleed internally and can create red sores on their bodies, as well as bleeding from the orifices.

Fish suffering from the disease are usually found floating, or swimming in circles near the surface of the water. It is highly contagious to fish, but not harmful to humans or other wildlife. It first alarmed state officials after the death of hundreds of fish in Lake St. Clair in 2005 was found to be associated with the virus. But it could be years before the virus' effect on fish populations can be measured, officials said.

Journal Articles of Interest

Clinical Biochemistry in Healthy Manatees(Trichechus Manatus Latirostris)[free full-text available]
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Jun 2007; 38(2): 269–279
JW Harvey et al.

Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

June 2007 Issue

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