July 10, 2007

Virus Makes Fish Sales a 'Nightmare'
The Janesville Gazette - gazetteextra.com
09 Jul 2007
M Heine
Area: Wisconsin USA

The finding of a deadly fish virus in the Lake Winnebago system in May has trickled down to hurt the fishing industry in several ways, corporate leaders at a local hatchery say.

New state and federal testing requirements have made the interstate movement of fish-including baitfish and game fish meant for stocking ponds, lakes and streams-a "logistical nightmare," for hatcheries, fish farms and bait dealers, said Michael Robinson, vice president of Keystone Hatcheries, a division of Genoa City's Robinson Wholesale. The U.S. Department of Agriculture listed 37 species of fish as susceptible to viral hemorrhagic septicemia, a fish virus allegedly capable of decimating a lake's fish population. Obtaining the necessary permits and health checks for the fish to be sold over state lines now takes months and makes stocking efforts with just-hatched fish almost pointless in some cases due to mortality rates, Robinson said.

Paying thousands of dollars for veterinarian testing of the fish stocks has driven up the cost of farm-raised fish. It might not be worth it for the hatchery to sell one batch of fish to an out-of-state customer if they need to be tested to meet that state's standards, Michael said. In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection have increased the amount of scrutiny before fishing stocking permits are issued to individuals or organizations looking to conduct supplemental stocking to balance fisheries at lakes the DNR rarely touches, Robinson said. "I believe the Wisconsin reaction is an overreaction," Robinson said.

Crow Presumed Positive for West Nile Virus
The Barrie Examiner - thebarrieexaminer.com
09 Jul 2007
Area: Ontario, Canada

A dead crow collected in Huntsville is presumed positive for West Nile virus (WNv); final results are expected later this week. A crow collected in Innisfil in June was the first bird in Simcoe Muskoka to test positive for the virus. “Having West Nile virus confirmed in our bird population tells us that we need to protect ourselves and the best way to prevent WNv is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” said Brenda Armstrong, supervisor of the WNv program for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
“Use insect repellent when you are outdoors and cover up.”

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. As of July 2, seven birds have tested positive across Ontario for the virus. The public is asked to continue to report dead birds as part of the health unit’s surveillance program.

Chronic Wasting Disease Update - Report No. 87
National Wildlife Health Center
06 Jul 2007
B Richards
Area: United States

A brief summary of current CWD events, issues, management efforts and the results of relevant scientific research.

Bird Smugglers Arrested by NBI
Sun.Star Network Online - sunstar.com.ph
10 Jul 2007
RM Hernandez and SA Estremera
Area: Philippines

Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested Sunday noon an Indonesian and two Filipino nationals for smuggling exotic birds from Indonesia. The confiscated wildlife, which included a cage full of colorful Rainbow lories, were exterminated Monday at the NBI regional office as a preventive measure against avian influenza or bird flu -- Indonesia being a hotspot for bird flu and the Philippines so far maintaining its bird flu-free status. Just two weeks ago, another case of bird flu infection on a human was confirmed in Indonesia. In the June 25, 2007 bird flu update from the World Health Organization, it said: "The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced a new case of human infection of H5N1 avian influenza.

The confiscated animals were put to sleep using carbon dioxide gas at the NBI regional office Monday. NBI identified the suspected smugglers as Randy Mandumi Makaginggi, an Indonesian; Mike Antucilla, 36, a resident of Davao City; and Renante Toledo alias Nante, a resident of Lasang, also of this city. They were arrested at around noon last Sunday. "This is a month-long surveillance and product din ito ng intel reports ng mga asset ng bureau (of intelligence reports from the agents of the bureau)," Exzel Hernandez of the NBI told Sun.Star Davao. Hernandez said the suspects were said to be smuggling contrabands, like firearms, ammunitions, shabu and used the birds as cover for the smuggled items.

Saving Struggling Bighorns
The Associated Press (Posted by oregonlive.com)
08 Jul 2007
K Ridler
Area: United States

An organism that may have played a part in killing thousands of bighorn sheep in the West over the past five decades, thwarting repopulation efforts, has been isolated in a lab and found in struggling bighorn herds in the wild, biologists say. Research done at Washington State University on tissue taken from dying lambs captured in Hells Canyon -- a chasm that borders Idaho, Oregon and Washington -- isolated a type of bacteria called mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Biologists say that could be the initial organism that attacks the sheep and works by inhibiting the ability of hairlike structures in airways to eliminate bacteria that lead to deadly pneumonia. Biologists have known that pneumonia often proves fatal to the wild sheep, but have been stumped for years as to why bighorns are so susceptible.

"This is the first problem I've worked on where there is quite a bit of evidence piling up where the agent is a mycoplasma," said Tom Besser, a professor in WSU's department of veterinary microbiology and pathology. He works at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on the school's Pullman campus. In herds known to be infected with mycoplasma, half to all the lambs die each year from pneumonia. The lambs are most susceptible mainly because their immune systems are not fully developed, said Frances Cassirer, a wildlife research biologist with Idaho Fish and Game.

Other Wildlife Disease News

Virginia Turkeys Show Signs of H5 Avian Flu Exposure

Wildlife Detectives - BBC Scotland TV Show

Disease Outbreak Alarms Montana's Ranchers

Journal Articles of Interest

Polychlorinated naphthalenes and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls in tissues of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from the northern Gulf of Alaska [online abstract only]
Chemosphere. 2007 May; 67(10): 2044-2057
D Wang et al.

Aphanomyces invadans and Ulcerative Mycosis in Estuarine and Freshwater Fish in Florida [online abstract only]
Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 2007 Mar; 19(1): 14-26
ER Sosa et al.

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