July 12, 2007

Botulism Causes Waterfowl Die-off in Lake Ontario
CBC News - cbc.ca
11 Jul 2007
Area: New York USA

A recent die-off of hundreds of waterfowl in eastern Lake Ontario is caused by Type E avian botulism, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has found. Particularly affected are gulls and Caspian terns. There have been no documented botulism deaths on the Canadian side of the lake during this die-off, says Dr. Katherine Welch of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre at the University of Guelph. The situation is being monitored. Health risks to humans are minimal, Welch said, because the toxin has to be ingested. Anyone handling dead birds should use gloves or an inverted shopping bag, and wash thoroughly afterwards. Welch told CBC.ca that these waterfowl deaths occur sporadically in the Great Lakes. In October, more than 500 loons were killed by botulism after eating infected fish. The disease paralyzes the birds, causing them to drown.

MT to Slaughter Quarantined Cattle if No Federal Deal Reached
The Associated Press (Posted by signonsandiego.com)
12 Jul 2007
S Cooke
Area: Montana USA

The Board of Livestock ordered the state Wednesday to slaughter a herd of quarantined cattle near Bridger if the owners and federal government can't agree on a price for the animals by midnight Friday. Seven cows from the ranch tested positive for brucellosis in May, and Montana could lose its coveted brucellosis-free status if the 600-some cattle aren't slaughtered within 60 days of that discovery – or by July 17. Board members pushed up the deadline during a conference call, saying the state's billion-dollar livestock industry depends upon a speedy resolution. Under the order, state officials will begin arranging for the herd's slaughter if no written agreement is reached by ranchers Jim and Sandy Morgan and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service by midnight Friday.

The Morgans would be compensated, but not under the more expensive deal they're seeking. “I'm totally sympathetic to (the herd owners), but we have to think about the rest of the state,” said board member Jan French. “There are a lot of people with herds in Montana that this would affect.” The Morgans called Wednesday's order unfair and said they felt “steamrolled by the state.”

Kenya Arrests 13 in Crackdown on Wildlife Crime
Reuters Africa - africa.reuters.com
09 Jul 2007
Area: Kenya Africa

Kenyan authorities arrested 13 people over the weekend in a new crackdown by the east African country on wildlife poaching and the game meat trade. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said its rangers detained seven Tanzanian poachers and their local guide on Saturday in Tsavo West National Park, recovering several high powered rifles. It said there had been several recent exchanges of fire between its staff and poachers crossing into Kenya, which bans hunting, from Tanzania where limited sport hunting is allowed. "These incursions could be a result of a lack of wildlife in many parts of Tanzania caused by abused licensed hunting," KWS said in a statement.

Pathogenic Hantaviruses, Northeastern Argentina and Paraguay [free full-text available]
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Aug; [Epub ahead of print]
P Padula et al.

Nephropathia Epidemica in Metropolitan Area, Germany [letter]
Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Aug; [Epub ahead of print]
SS Essbauer et al.

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