October 29, 2007

Foot-and-mouth Disease Hits BBP
The Hindu - www.hindu.com
28 Oct 2007
Area: Karnataka India

Two mithuns and a blackbuck die; it is the first time the disease has been detected in the park

The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) is facing an unprecedented crisis with the foot-and-mouth disease claiming the lives of two mithuns and a blackbuck. Moreover, in an unrelated incident, a six-year-old lion was found dead in its animal rescue centre on Saturday. According to Assistant Veterinary Officer of the park, G.K. Vishwanath, the lion, which was born in the park, had been unwell for nearly three months and its carcass had been sent to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB) “to know whether it died of cancer or tuberculosis”. But the bigger worry is the foot-and-mouth disease which has hit the park for the first time.

As a precautionary measure, the authorities have decided to close the herbivore safari to prevent the spread of the disease that is caused by an airborne virus. The Jungle Lodges and Resorts’ Bannerghatta Nature Camp will close its operations from Monday, K.B. Markandaiah, executive director of the park said. The blackbuck’s death on Saturday follows that of the mithun, a wild breed of cattle native to the North-East of the country. Nine blackbucks and some spotted deer were in the enclosures adjacent to that of the mithuns.

Epidemic Might Have Killed Six Elephants, Says Veterinarian
The Nation - nationmultimedia.com
27 Oct 2007
Area: Chanthaburi Thailand

The skeletons of the six elephants found on Thursday in Chanthaburi indicated that the animals might have died in great pain, a veterinarian said yesterday.

Pattarapon Maneeon said chemical poisoning might not be the only possibility and an epidemic could have killed them. The carcasses of the six cows, aged 15 to 40, were decomposed but vets managed to retrieve some flesh, bones, abdomen fat, grass from their stomachs and maggots. The jumbos were dead for two months so traces of disease or chemicals might have disintegrated and disappeared, Pattarapon said. He will contact the Medical Science Depart-ment, National Institute of Animal Health and veterinary faculties at universities to see if they can help with testing. Chalermsak Wanichsombat, director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said he would ask for assistance from labs at Kasetsart and Mahidol universities.

He believes the elephants probably died from an epidemic, not chemicals, but wants scientific results to confirm the cause. Pattarapon said it appeared that the jumbos did not perish instantly and might have suffered a lot, as they appeared to have been struggling. Villagers had also spoken of hearing elephants crying in agony. The spot where they were found was known to have had other dead elephants before, so it was probably a graveyard where these six elephants hurting from food contamination came to die, he said. Judging from their position with their heads close together, they might have intertwined their trunks as they were all from the same herd.

New CWD Cases Found
Leader-Post - www.canada.com
26 Oct 2007
Area: Saskatchewan Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed animals in a white-tail deer herd and two elk hunt operations in Saskatchewan have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). As a result, the CFIA has quarantined a white-tail deer herd and an elk hunt operation in the Prince Albert area along with an elk hunt farm in the Moose Jaw area, an agency spokeswoman said. The most recent case was confirmed Tuesday in a farmed elk herd in the Prince Albert area. However, the agency spokeswoman said the quarantine would likely have been imposed while awaiting the test results. Saskatchewan's first suspected case of CWD this year was diagnosed earlier in the month.

Blue Tongue Disease Wracks Deer
The Daily Journal - daily-journal.com
27 Oct 2007
B Byrns
Area: Illinois United States

While most deer hunters are on the watch for signs of chronic wasting disease, another suspected illness is taking its toll on whitetails around the state. It's call "blue tongue" -- technically epizootic hemorrhagic disease -- which is affecting whitetail herds in several states, including Illinois. Last week, while vacationing in Illinois' deer capital -- downstate Pope County -- I heard disturbing tales from local hunters of recent deer deaths blamed on the blue tongue malady. The rumors prompted a phone call to Tom Micetick, deer manager for the state's Department of Natural Resource.

"There have been over 120 calls and more than 400 dead deer reported to me from around the state since our news release went out on Sept. 9," Micetick said. For now the results are listed as "suspected EHD deaths" until the disease is confirmed. The early reports come from 46 of Illinois' 102 counties and include two deer deaths from Will County. Micetick however is not sure the Will County deer are disease victims.

Badger Cull Is Just the Beginning...
Telegraph - www.telegraph.co.uk
29 Oct 2007
O Craig
Area: England United Kingdom

Britain's cattle are being infected with TB and badgers are to blame – so should they be exterminated? As Olga Craig reports, the badger war is only just beginning?… David Bevans is not the sentimental sort. As a farmer with a 30-strong herd of premium pedigree English longhorn cattle on his 80-acre holding in Carmarthen, he can't afford to be. His animals may have names not numbers, he may recognise their individual idiosyncrasies and temperaments, but they are not pets. They represent the livelihood on which Mr Bevan and his family depend.

For all that, he readily admits, he felt a lump in the throat when his award-winning 12-year-old cow, Bulford Georgina, was slaughtered at the abattoir a fortnight ago. Especially when, in Mr Bevan's opinion, it was utterly unnecessary. 'I liked that cow," he says testily. ''What's more, I feel that she was murdered. That's exactly how I feel: that she was murdered. And what is really galling is that she had to be slaughtered because she was deemed to be a 'reactor': an animal that may, but will not necessarily, develop bovine TB. ''After she was culled, her lungs tested clear," he says, shaking his head wearily. ''So she was killed for nothing. For no reason."

Catfish Die-off - USA: (MN, ND), Bacterial Etiology
ProMED-mail - www.promedmail.org
26 Oct 2007
Area: United States

Additional pathology tests have ruled out 2 deadly fish viruses -- viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) and channel catfish virus [CCV] -- as causes of a die-off that killed thousands of catfish in early September [2007] along the Red River south of Grand Forks. Instead, the tests confirm the initial diagnosis that 2 bacterial infections, _Columnaris_ and _Aeromonas_, caused the catfish to die. According to Ling Shen, fish health specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in St. Paul, a nearly dead catfish sent to the DNR's pathology lab in early September [2007] tested positive for both bacteria, which occur naturally in the water. Meanwhile, 2 other fish caught by Grand Forks anglers and collected by DNR staff for testing a few weeks later showed skin lesions, Shen said, but were in better condition than the 1st catfish tested.

Neither of the fish had _Columnaris_ bacteria on their gills, she said, and none of the internal organs tested positive for the _Aeromonas_ bacteria. It's likely a combination of environmental factors, including high water temperatures and low river flows in the weeks leading up to the die-off, weakened the immune systems of the catfish, making them more susceptible to infection. Shen says cooler water and higher flows likely have reduced stress on the catfish and improved their immune systems. As recently as this past weekend [20-21 Oct 2007], though, anglers fishing the Red reported seeing catfish with scars and bleeding lesions.



HPAI in Europe 2007: Concurrent Outbreaks in Poultry and Wild Birds [PDF]
EMPRES Watch. 2007 Aug.
S Newman et al.

Basic Oxidative Stress Metabolites in Eastern Pacific Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii) [online abstract only]
Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2007 Jul-Aug; 146(1-2): 111-7. Epub 2006 Jun 29.
PA Valdivia et al.

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