December 27, 2007

Duck hunters heed the call of bird flu tests
Herald-Tribune -
27 Dec 2007
K Spinner
Area: Florida, USA
Photo Courtesy of D Wagner/

Duck hunters, including those prowling the Everglades this winter, are helping scientists nationwide guard against a bird flu pandemic. Before taking home their ducks, hunters in much of Florida offer them to wildlife inspectors so the birds can be checked for influenza. The research is intended to help understand how bird flu spreads, so that dangerous flu strains can be swiftly found and eradicated.

"The main objective is early detection or prevention," said Thomas DeLiberto, national wildlife disease coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "It's a way to get a heads-up on a potential problem." Scientists are focusing on ducks because the birds can harbor and spread influenza viruses without showing any signs of illness.

DNR Expands Deer Season in Bovine TB Zone
The Farmer -
24 Dec 2007
Area: Minnesota, USA

Hunters may use any valid deer license to harvest deer from Dec. 29 to Jan. 13, 2008, in Permit Area 101 of northwestern Minnesota to help reduce herd density and assist wildlife management officials in their efforts to stop the potential spread of bovine tuberculosis. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials announced the late season hunt after three of the 1,100 hunter-harvested deer sampled in Permit Area 101, which is considered the bovine TB zone in far northwestern Minnesota, tested presumptive positive for the disease.

Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program coordinator, said the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the results. Complete test results will soon be available. "Although finding additional infected deer is obviously a concern, the good news is that the prevalence of the disease remains low and is confined to a small geographic region," Carstensen said. "The DNR will take every precaution to prevent bovine TB from spreading through the deer herd."

Rainbow trout could be on road to comeback
The Aspen Times -
24 Dec 2007
Area: Colorado, USA

The results of an experimental breeding and stocking program have state wildlife researchers encouraged that Colorado's rainbow trout fishery could be on the brink of a big comeback after being decimated by whirling disease. The Division of Wildlife is trying to rebuild rainbow populations with trout that are resistant to the parasitic spore that deforms and kills young fish. "There's a lot of potential for re-establishing wild populations of rainbow trout," state biologist George Schisler said.

Next year, the wildlife division will start restocking lakes and streams with large numbers of rainbow trout that show strong resistance to whirling disease. Whirling disease is caused by a parasite that penetrates the head and spinal cartilage, causing fish to swim erratically. It also affects feeding and the ability to avoid predators. The disease was confirmed in Colorado in the late 1980s and spread to most of the state's major river drainages after infected fish from a private Idaho hatchery were released. It also infiltrated state hatcheries.

Eleven peafowls found dead in Jalandhar forest

Daily India -
27 Dec 2007
Area: India

Nine peahens and two peacocks were found dead at Laddowal forest in Punjab's Jalandhar District. The officials noticed a dead peacock initially in the Lodowal wildlife reserve area, and carried further search operation. "We saw one dead peacock when I and forest guard Jasveer Singh were patrolling. After that we carried a search operation in the whole jungle area and found a total of dead nine peahens and two peacocks. We then informed higher officials and brought those birds in the hospital for postmortem," said Pritpal Singh, Assistant Forest Officer (AFO) of Ludhiana.

All the dead birds were taken to a close-by veterinary hospital in Ludhiana, but were later referred to the Regional Disease Diagnostic Research Centre in Jalandhar for further investigation. Though the immediate cause of the deaths is not known, the birds have been sent for postmortem. "With full precaution, we are sending all these birds to our regional laboratory RDDL (Regional Disease Diagnostic Research Centre) in Jalandhar for examination," said J.K. Uppal, a veterinarian.

Undiagnosed deaths, camels - Saudi Arabia - Archive Number 20071226.4142
ProMED-mail -
26 Dec 2007

The mysterious bug [should read "agent" rather than "bug;" see commentary. -Mod.AS] which has killed thousands of camels has not affected herds in the UAE, as scientists and authorities are closely monitoring the situation. The disease recently killed thousands of camels in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, sending a wave of panic among farmers and scientists who are baffled as to what the disease is and its cause. Dr Ghaleb A. Al Hadrami, Dean of the College of Food and Agriculture at the UAE University, said no trace of any such disease had yet been found anywhere in the UAE.

"We have closely been monitoring the situation, and people need not to worry," he told Gulf News. He said Saudi Arabian experts were not describing it as an infectious disease. They are calling it an incident of food poisoning. "Nobody, however, knows the exact cause of this camel ailment so far, but scientists have been working on it," said Al Hadrami. Dr Ulrich Wernery, Scientific Director of the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in Dubai, said scientists had been investigating lines such as poisoning, antibiotic pollution, viruses and climate change as possible causes.



Lesions associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex infection in the
European wild boar

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2007 Jul;87(4):360-7. Epub 2007 Mar 28.
MP Martín-Hernando

Landscape genetics and the spatial distribution of chronic wasting disease

Biol Lett. 2007 Dec 11 [Epub ahead of print]
JA Blanchong et al

West Nile virus-infected dead corvids increase the risk of infection in
Culex mosquitoes (Diptera : Culicidae) in domestic landscapes [online
abstract only]

J Med Entomol. 2007 Nov;44(6):1067-73.
CF Nielsen and WK Reisen

Age-related lesions in laboratory-confined raccoons (Procyon lotor)
inoculated with the agent of chronic wasting disease of mule deer [online
abstract only]

J Vet Diagn Invest. 2007 Nov;19(6):680-6.
AN Hamir et al.

Elk use of wallows and potential chronic wasting disease transmission
[online abstract only]

J Wildl Dis. 2007 Oct;43(4):784-8.
KC VerCauteren et al.

Wildlife Middle East News - December 2007
Vol 2 Issue 3

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