Friday, October 17, 2008

NEW YORK NEWS: TB Found in Captive Deer

State officials say the health of wild deer and domestic animals could be threatened by the discovery of tuberculosis in a captive deer in Columbia County.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets says one animal in a captive herd of red and fallow deer tested positive for TB in routine testing and was euthanized.

The disease may affect nearly any organ in livestock and causes the animal to grow thin and weak.

The affected herd has been quarantined and animals on nearby farms will be tested to make sure the disease is isolated. In addition, the Department of Environmental Conservation plans to sample road-killed and hunter-killed deer for the disease. Hunters are advised to wear gloves while butchering deer.

The Health Department says strains of TB infecting deer can infect humans.

Source: Newsday

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SOUTH DAKOTA NEWS: Urban Cull Planned

Pierre officials say they will ask the state Game, Fish and Parks Department for a permit to kill 60 deer this winter.

Forty deer were shot last winter by police sharpshooters.

The city often gets complaints about deer tramping through yards and gardens in the capital city.

The marauding deer also are a problem for motorists.

Carcasses of deer that are killed by police will be made available to people who sign up on a first-come, first-served basis.

Source: KTIV


Two hunter-harvested buck mule deer in northeast Wyoming have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Chronic wasting disease is a brain disease that, once active, is thought to be 100 percent fatal in deer, elk and moose.

The two deer were both shot on Oct. 3, one northeast of Buffalo near Lake DeSmet in deer hunt area 26, and the other 7 1/2 miles east of Kaycee, in deer hunt area 29.

Personnel at the Game and Fish Department laboratory discovered the infected animals in the process of the department"s annual CWD survey.

"This is the first time we have found CWD in these two hunt areas," said Warren Mischke, spokesman for the Game and Fish Department's Sheridan Region.

The department recommends that deer hunters from areas 26 and 29 transport only the following items: cut and wrapped meat, boned meat, animal quarters or other pieces with no portion of the spinal column or head attached, hides without the head, cleaned skull plates with no meat or nervous tissue attached and antlers with no meat or other tissue attached.

The head, spine and other nervous tissue should be left at the site of the kill or disposed of in an approved landfill.

Rubber or latex gloves should be worn when field dressing any animal and during butchering, according to Mischke.

Chronic Wasting disease has been diagnosed in some wild deer, elk and moose in 11 states and two Canadian provinces, but there is no confirmed link between CWD and any human illness.

Nonetheless, to avoid any risk, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people not consume parts or products from any animal that looks sick or tests positive for CWD.

The disease was first discovered in free-ranging elk in Wyoming in 1986, white-tailed deer in 1990 and mule deer in 1992, all in the southeast corner of the state, said Hank Edwards, wildlife disease biologist with the Game and Fish Department.

Although the disease's progress through the state is slow, it also appears to be steady, he said.

"It's definitely moving both north and west from the historical endemic area," Edwards said.

Many conservationists fear that if the disease ever reaches the elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming, it will decimate the elk herds there in much the same way the disease has caused catastrophic kills of elk raised on elk farms.

Officials with the Game and Fish Department say it's impossible to predict if CWD would decimate feedground elk the way it has farm elk, because the animals on feedgrounds live in close proximity for only a few months a year, as opposed to year-round as they do on farms.

Source: Casper Tribune

Monday, October 13, 2008

INDIA NEWS: Deer Populations Exploding in Guindy National Park

At a time when dwindling animal populations are a concern in most national parks, Guindy National Park (GNP) is struggling to contain its exploding deer population.

Most species of deer reproduce rapidly, leading to stress on their habitat and population explosion. There is also a lot of in-breeding at GNP and as a result, the population is not a healthy one.

GNP, the only national park within city limits, has around 1,100 spotted deer and 380 black bucks. As the foliage reserve in the park is insufficient for the animals, the deer often stray outside in search of food.

"The deer population inside the park has gone beyond control and something has to be done immediately. The park does not have enough foliage to meet the huge demand," a worker at GNP told The Times of India. The park authorities have so far managed to hush up the straying of spotted deer from the park as the city has a strong free-ranging deer population. However, when the forest authorities rescued a black buck from the heart of Velachery in April last year, the straying of animals came to light.

Karunapriya, city wildlife warden in charge of GNP, said that some animals do stray out of the park. "The straying of deer from the park is very difficult to contain. We have open areas near Raj Bhavan and due to security reasons we cannot fence those areas. However, there is no shortage of foliage inside the park.
Otherwise such a huge population of deer could not be thriving," she said.

She also admitted that the gene pool of the deer inside the park is unhealthy because of in-breeding. "We are trying to find a solution to this. We often trap some of the healthy free-ranging spotted deer and let them into the park to enable cross-breeding," Karunapriya said. She said they are also planning to create open grass areas inside the park to increase the availability of foliage. "There are many such developmental plans but they are still being conceptualised," Karunapriya said.

Experts say that such problems are bound to happen as the park is located in the heart of the city. "There should be a plan of action to tackle problems like in-breeding and population explosion. Authorities should shift a few animals to other parks in the state and bring in some from other parks to encourage cross-breeding," a senior wildlife official said.

Source: Times of India

WISCONSIN NEWS: New Case of CWD At Hunting Preserve

For the first time in nearly four years, a Wisconsin hunting preserve has confirmed a positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease within its fences. Last week, the state's agriculture department announced that a white-tailed deer owned by Alligator Creek Whitetails LLC near Junction City in Portage County tested positive for CWD. The animal was killed on September 20 and was tested as part of standard procedure.

According to State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt, the seven-year-old doe was one of about 150 deer in the preserve. He says the Animal Health Division of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture will investigate the animal's history and trace movements of deer onto and off the property to find out whether other herds may have been exposed to the disease.

Deer herds on hunting preserves are generally not on the state's CWD monitoring program. However, new rules require that all farm-raised deer and elk 16 months or older must be tested when they die, go to slaughter or are killed.

Ehlenfeldt quarantined the Alligator Creek herd immediately. The business will be allowed to conduct hunts through January 15, because properly handled dead animals leaving the premises do not pose a disease risk. Hunters must be notified of the quarantine and the reason for it.

This is the first new CWD-infected herd on a Wisconsin farm since January 2005. To date, 97 farm-raised animals in Wisconsin have tested positive for CWD on eight farms and hunting preserves, including 82 on a single Portage County operation.

Source: Wisconsin Ag Connection