June 22, 2007

Tighter Cattle Controls, but No Badger Cull – ISG Report
Farmers Guardian
22 Jun 2007
A Driver
Area: United Kingdom
Photo Courtesy of Farmers Guardian

Farmers in bovine TB hotspot areas face tighter cattle controls, but there will be no badger cull to tackle the reservoir of disease in wildlife, if Ministers accept recommendations from TB advisors published this week. Fears were expressed for the future of farming in the South West of England and other hotspot areas after the Independent Scientific Group on bovine TB (ISG) reported on the conclusions of its decade-long study into badger culling.

The core conclusion was that although badgers ‘contribute significantly to the cattle disease in some parts of the country’, culling them cannot reduce bTB in cattle ‘to any meaningful extent’. The report categorically rules out all methods of culling, quashing any prospect of an imminent announcement by Ministers on the lifting of the moratorium on licences to cull badgers.

Wanted: Dead Crows With Heads
The Robson Valley Times
20 Jun 2007
A McCracken
Area: British Columbia, Canada

What could be a banner year for mosquitoes in general may or may not result in the introduction of the West Nile Virus to this part of the world. In order to stay on top of the situation Northern Health is again seeking help from the general public to collect dead crows, ravens, magpies or jays. Specifically they are seeking birds of the corvid family that haven’t obviously been hit by a truck or have been in a fight. Corvids are the most common victims of the virus.

On decapitation: It is not uncommon for a fighting crow to be decapitated, said Charlene Lively, Manager of Public Health Protection with Northern Health, but don’t bother turning in a headless crow to officials. Headlessness was most likely the cause of death and not the virus, and besides, animal health specialists need the head to determine whether the crow was carrying the virus. Lively said that recent flooding could contribute to a banner year for mosquitoes, but said that mosquitoes most abundant in this area are unable to transmit the West Nile Virus.

Deadly Fish Virus Feared Heading Toward Lake Michigan

The Associated Press (JG-TC.com)
22 Jun 2007

A virus that has killed tens of thousands of fish in the eastern Great Lakes appears headed for Lake Michigan, where wildlife experts fear it could threaten the sport-fishing industry. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS — which causes anemia and hemorrhaging in infected fish — was detected earlier this year in fish in an area of northern Lake Huron, about 20 miles from Lake Michigan. It has been blamed for fish dieoffs last spring in lakes Erie and Ontario, as well as in Lake St. Clair and other waterways.

The virus doesn’t pose a health risk to humans, but concern about its potential affect on fish populations is “very high,” said Gary Whelan, fish production manager at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “We don’t know which species are going to be susceptible,” Whelan said. “We don’t know whether this disease will come through once and kill off the susceptible and diseased ones,” or kill fish every year.

Buffalo Disease Causes RM100,000 Losses in 3 Districts; Under Control Now

Daily Express
21 Jun 2007
Area: Malaysia

Outbreaks of haemorrhagic septicaemia in three districts in the west coast of Sabah since early this month have resulted in nearly RM100,000 losses in village buffaloes and cattle. Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry (Dovsai) Director Datuk Haji Awang Sahak Salleh, who disclosed this Wednesday, however said the outbreaks have been brought under control following the proactive measures undertaken by the department.

He said thus far there has been no new deaths or signs of animal attacked by the bacteria reported in Tenghilan in Tuaran, Kota Belud and Kg Tindai in Penampang. The first outbreak, caused by a bacteria called Pasteurella multocida which commonly would attack a buffalo and cattle when it is under stress and not vaccinated, was reported at Tenghilan in Tuaran. It caused the death of 24 buffaloes. The total losses were estimated to be RM50,000, he said, adding that the department has since taken action by vaccinating livestock animals in every village in the area.

Other Wildlife Disease News

Rabies May Be On Rise This Year

Qantas and University of Tasmania Announce Tasmanian Devil Research Scholarships

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