July 11, 2007

Nearly 300 Smuggled Birds from Indonesia Burned
Minda News - mindanews.com
10 Jul 2007
WI Balane
Area: Philippines

Wildlife authorities destroyed nearly 300 heads of wild birds and animals smuggled into the city from Indonesia, for fear of bird flu infection. The trader, identified as Mike Artocilla, 37, admitted that smuggling of wildlife stock has been going on with suppliers from the islands in Indonesia even if he knew the perils of the avian flu. The environment department's Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau said 270 wild birds were burned in government incinerators in Sasa Monday afternoon to prevent further complications. About 267 of the stock were identified as wild birds sourced from an island called Halmajira, near the Indonesian city of Bitung.

The birds were identified to be pet animals, among them the Sulfur crested Cockatoo, Eclectic Parrot, Read headed lorry, Birds of Paradise, and the expensive Palm Cockatoo. Also burned were a Warty pig (wild boar), Wallaby, a kangaroo type; and a saltwater crocodile. Reports on the number of animals decimated, however, vary. Artocilla told MindaNews at the NBI office there were a total of 136 heads while PAWB reported 270 based on estimated head count at the raid site. Artocilla told MindaNews his clients buy the birds and animals mostly for household use. He said the stock is from his third trip from Indonesia.

Rabies on the Rise
09 Jul 2007
S Symolon
Area: Virginia USA

Rabies is on the rise in Virginia according to the Virginia Department of Health. Experts want to keep humans away from the deadly disease. Augusta County is one of the most concentrated areas for the disease that increased almost 20 percent since last year. "They need to stay away from wild animals no matter how cute they are," says Allen Gutshall with the Virginia Department of Health in Staunton. He says the shared Augusta County and Staunton office tests animals like bats every day for the disease and they see an increase every year.

"I think it’s because there's more people and there's more possible contact between animals and people," says Allen Gutshall. Farm animals, just like people, are at risk. Gutshall says to report any animal you think might have rabies even if it’s not foaming at the mouth. "Look out for sick animals, or staggering in their gait, just unusual behavior," says Gutshall. Doctor Kathryn Dobyns with the Middle River Veterinary Clinic says the most important way for people to protect themselves from rabies, is to get their pets, vaccinated. That’s the closest contact people have to wild animals.

Tensions Mount in Montana As Brucellosis Talks Continue
The Associated Press (Posted by localnews8.com)
10 July 2007
Area: Montana USA

The future of Montana's cattle industry, some say, is in the hands of the federal government and a Bridger ranching couple. Ranchers and livestock groups are anxiously watching negotiations between Jim and Sandy Morgan and the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service over the couple's quarantined cattle herd. Seven cows from their ranch tested positive for brucellosis in May. And Montana could lose its coveted brucellosis-free status if the herd isn't slaughtered within 60 days of that discovery - or by July 17th.

Kenyans Unwittingly Eating Zebra, Wildebeest As Criminals Pass Off 'Bushmeat' As Beef
The Associated Press (Posted by iht.com)
11 Jul 2007
Area: Kenya Africa

James Akedi's plate is piled with fragrant strips of nyama choma, the entree of choice in much of East Africa whose name means, quite simply, roasted meat. Akedi can only hope he's getting what he paid for: 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of government-inspected, disease-free beef. Kenyan authorities say wild animals such as zebra and wildebeest are illegally slaughtered and passed off as beef — posing grave threats from diseases such as Ebola and anthrax linked to eating the flesh of infected animals. "I have always been cautious when going out to buy meat," Akedi said. "But you never know."

Over the weekend, police recovered more than 200 kilograms (450 pounds) of "bushmeat" in an unrefrigerated minibus traveling from a wildlife dispersal area outside Nairobi National Park, Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto said. The driver said he was going to pass off the meat as beef at Nairobi markets, Udoto said. Similar shipments have been entering Nairobi nearly every day for the past two months, the wildlife service said. Three people have been arrested and are charged with poaching and illegal trade in wildlife meat.

Deer Hunt Urged in Disease Fight
The Associated Press (Posted by boston.com)
08 Jul 2007
Area: Maine USA

A group of biologists and medical specialists is promoting expanded deer hunts as a way to curb Lyme disease. "The more deer you have, the more reproductive potential for ticks," said Charles Lubelczyk, a field biologist for the Vector-borne Disease Laboratory at Maine Medical Center Research Institute. "If you can get deer down to a low-enough level, you might see the ticks drop in a little while." Maine recorded 338 cases of Lyme disease last year, a 37 percent increase from 2005, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Journal Articles of Interest

Wildlife Ecological Screening Levels for Inhalation of Volatile Organic Chemicals [online abstract only]
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2007 Jun; 26(6): 1299-303
P Gallegos et al.

Active Surveillance for Avian Influenza Viruses in Wild Birds and Backyard Flocks in Northern Italy During 2004 to 2006 [online abstract only]
Avian Pathology. 2007 Aug; 36(4): 337 - 344
C Terregino et al.

Avian Pathology - Aug 2007 Issue
Table of Contents

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