July 18, 2007

Dead Crow Found in This Area May Carry Virus
The Huntsville Forester
18 Jul 2007
Area: Ontario, Canada

A dead crow collected in Huntsville is presumed positive for West Nile virus. Final results are expected later this week, reports the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Where exactly in the Huntsville area the bird was located is not being made public, according to supervisor of the West Nile virus program for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Brenda Armstrong. A crow collected in Innisfil in June was the first bird in Simcoe Muskoka to test positive for the virus.

“There is not a lot of information that indicates that where bird was found correlates to a higher risk of the disease being present in that specific area,” said Armstrong. “That is why we incorporate a much bigger area like Huntsville.” Since the health unit began its dead bird surveillance program in May it has received 581 reports of dead bird sightings. To date 18 birds have been sent to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre in Guelph for testing.

USDA Lab Confirms Low-path H5N1 Strain in Virginia Turkeys

17 Jul 2007

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today confirmed that turkeys at a Virginia farm were exposed to the low-pathogenic North American strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus. Today's announcement follows a USDA statement 6 days ago that testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, revealed the birds had antibodies to an H5N1 virus, indicating they were possibly exposed to a low-pathogenic strain, but further testing was needed to pinpoint the specific virus.

Preslaughter testing had revealed that samples from the birds suggested they had antibodies to an H5 influenza virus, but Virginia's agriculture department, in a Jul 9 statement announcing the outbreak, said none of the birds had shown any signs of illness or had died unexpectedly. "We can say for certain that this is not highly pathogenic H5N1 circulating in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa," said John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer, in a USDA press release.

Governor: Feed Grounds Necessary in Wyoming

Jackson Hole News & Guide
17 Jul 2007
N Brenner
Area: Wyoming, USA

Feed grounds are a vital part of the state’s elk management and brucellosis strategy and will be a part of that strategy for the foreseeable future, Gov. Dave Freudenthal said Monday during a speech in Jackson. “While the federal government acknowledges that, they don’t move,” Freudenthal told the 2007 Western Regional Meeting of Agricultural College Deans. “They say, ‘That [brucellosis] is a hell of a problem and we hope you are going to work on it.’”

The governor called feed grounds one of the only resources available to the state as long there is a reservoir of brucellosis in the national parks. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause pregnant cows, bison and elk to abort fetuses. “If you get rid of feed grounds, you are only going to push elk onto private property and spread the disease,” Freudenthal said. Conservation groups say crowded conditions on feed grounds help transmit brucellosis and the feed grounds should be phased out.

Outdoors: Committee Forming to Discuss CWD Management Strategies

The Capital Times
18 Jul 2007
T Eisle
Area: Wisconsin, USA

The first organizational meeting of the Department of Natural Resources Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Stakeholder Advisory Committee will convene this Saturday, July 21, at the DNR South Central Headquarters in Fitchburg. Over the next seven months, the committee will meet one Saturday each month to learn more about the background on CWD and its effect on the deer herd in Wisconsin, discuss concerns and the come up with its recommendations for a common disease management goal and strategies that can be supported by citizens.

The DNR decided it was necessary to convene a committee after surveys found that the current intensive strategies have not reduced the deer herd as much as was desired and do not receive the widespread backing that the DNR had hoped for. On the other hand, the efforts since CWD was first identified in the state in 2002 appear to have contained the disease and it has not spread widely in the following five years.

Other Wildlife Disease News

Demand for Badger Cull - as Charity Calls for Protection

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