Oregon 08/17/11 therepublic.com: Wildlife agents have tracked and killed a cougar believed responsible for killing six sheep belonging to a family in Sweet Home, Ore., northeast of Eugene.
U.S. Agriculture Department wildlife specialists used hounds Wednesday to track and tree a 2-year-old, 110-pound cougar. USDA wildlife biologist Kevin Christensen tells KEZI it was necessary to kill the big cat because predators that start attacking livestock will continue. Shelley Garrett and her family found three of their Blackbelly Barbados sheep dead in a field Tuesday and three more missing. One of the missing sheep was found buried nearby and the other two are believed to be dead. The family had a flock of 10 sheep. Wildlife officials say even though they believe just one cougar was responsible for the attack it’s a good idea to lock up livestock at night.
Michigan 08/17/11 mlive.com: by Gus Burns – A Feral hog infected with pseudo-rabies has been captured and shot in Midland County, says Keith Creagh, director of the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The disease and the growing number of wild pigs helped earn them a “nuisance species” designation by the Department of Natural Resources, which relaxes hunting restrictions on the animals; and this latest finding of a diseased pig helps support a proposed sporting pig ban that Department of Natural Resources employees could enforce beginning April 1, should restrictions not be enacted. “The DNR is blowing a lot of smoke out there,” said Doug Miller, a construction worker who owns Thunder Hills Ranch in Jackson County, which raises swine for controlled hunts. “The fact that that pig has pseudo-rabies has nothing to do with (sporting pig owners). Our animals are 100 percent tested.” Creagh said the USDA Wildlife Services commenced the Midland County trap-kill-and-test program for hogs in June. Since that time, six feral hogs were captured and tested for pseudo-rabies and other diseases. “One of the samples, it was a young, female sub-adult, came back positive for pseudo-rabies,” Creagh said. “And that’s why we’re killing feral swine.”
A sporting pig ban was to take effect July 8, but the DNR delayed the action until Oct. 8 to give legislators time to create restrictions if they choose. The order would prohibit owning or breeding non-livestock swine. A Saginaw County gaming facility, which offered hog hunts to the public, “depopulated” its Eurasian hog population in 2008 after an “endemic” pseudo-rabies outbreak that affected five tested pigs, Creagh said. Officials responded by banning the importation of hogs by game ranches. Creagh said he can’t “definitively” say, but believes the captured samples were of the “exotic and invasive” Eurasian bloodline originally imported as game. Because of the H1N1 flu scare in 2009, bio-security among livestock farmers was “really tightened,” Creagh said. He said livestock hogs are raised “mainly” indoors; consequently, the chances of an escaped or wild hog interacting with a domestic livestock pig and spreading disease is “slim-to-none.” If infected, pseudo-rabies restricts weight gain, resulting in less-robust livestock, the main concern of pig farmers, Creagh said; but Miller said “you don’t see any real physical signs of them having it until quite late in the disease.”
Connecticut 08/18/11ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in two new towns on August 8 and 9, 2011 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Branford and New Haven by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
Maryland 08/18/11 washingtonpost.com: by Lena H. Sun – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Thursday that a Baltimore area adult is the state’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus infection in 2011. West Nile virus is endemic in Maryland, and health officials typically see cases every year. On July 26, the D.C. Department of Health announced it had positively identified West Nile in several mosquito samples in the Woodley Park, Adams Morgan and North Cleveland Park neighborhoods of the District. The virus has also been reported in Fairfax County, and Maryland health officials said three pools of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense tested positive for West Nile virus infection. The disease, an infection of birds which is picked up by mosquitoes and can spread to humans, has plagued the area since 1999, when it was identified near Baltimore. At its peak in 2002, 10 people in the District, Maryland and Virginia died from the infection.
New Jersey 08/18/11 shorenewstoday.com: by Alex Davis – West Nile virus has been spotted for the first time this year in Cape May County. A mosquito collection from the Belleplain State Forest in Dennis Township tested positive for the virus in late July. The county announced the news this week. http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/2010-04-07-20-18-16/2010-04-07-20-18-16/15365-west-nile-virus-reported-in-cape-may-county.html
New York 08/18/11 pressconnects.com: by Jennifer Fusco – A crow has tested positive for the West Nile virus in Broome County, officials said. “It is not cause for alarm because we have not had reports of human cases since 2002 … but we do urge people to take a common sense approach and protect themselves when they go outdoors,” said Claudia Edwards, public health director for the county Health Department.
Ohio 08/18/11 akron.com: by Stephanie Kist – West Nile Virus has been identified in the city’s mosquito population. Six mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) were identified Aug. 10 in the city of Akron on the following streets: one each on Easton Drive, Auten Drive, Glendale Avenue and Weathervane Lane, and two on the corner of Onondago Avenue and Morningview Avenue. The following day, 13 more pools of mosquitoes carrying WNV were identified on the following streets: two on Abington Road, two on Meade Avenue, two on Derby Downs Road, four at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on East Market Street and three on Hobart Avenue. This makes a total of 22 positive pools for the year in Akron so far, according to city officials. Recent rain has resulted in many mosquitoes hatching recently in the area of the floods.
Florida 08/17/11 theledger.com: Dogs on Shimmering Drive in Lakeland came in contact with a bat that had rabies, officials said Wednesday. The pets attacked the bat in the yard of a home Aug. 11. The bat later died, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. The dogs are quarantined for 45 days, deputies said. On Wednesday, Polk County Animal Control confirmed the bat was infected with rabies. This is the second case of rabies in the county this year.
Georgia 08/18/11 cbsatlanta.com: by Jennifer Banks – Hall County officials reported its 9th documented rabies case for 2001, after a dog made contact with a rabid raccoon earlier this week. The incident happened on Poplar Springs and Cedar Hill Roads according to the city. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab – Virology Section in Decatur. Hall County Animal Services was advised that the raccoon was positive for rabies.
Georgia 08/17/11 patch.com: by Rodney Thrash – Another raccoon in Cherokee County has tested positive for rabies, North Georgia Health District spokeswoman Jennifer King said today. “This makes a total of seven confirmed cases of rabies for the county this year, including four other raccoons, a dog and a fox,” she said. The latest case involves two dogs who attacked and killed a raccoon on Sardis Circle in Canton on Aug. 10. Cherokee County Environmental Health specialist Glendon Gordy said the head of the raccoon was sent to the Georgia State Laboratory for testing. County health officials learned of the positive results on Aug. 12. There was no human exposure, and both dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations. Still, they will be given a rabies booster shot and placed under 45-day quarantine.
British Columbia 08/17/11 bclocalnews.com: by Jessica Peters – An Agassiz vet is asking the public to be extra vigilant around wildlife, following the discovery of a rabid bat in Harrison Hot Springs. Dr. Laura Madsen said officials now “absolutely know for sure” that a bat found by a young boy had rabies. The boy was able to catch the bat, which was flying around in the middle of the day. Madsen said that any wild animal acting out of the ordinary, and allowing itself to be caught, is the first sign that it may have the contagious disease.
Ontario 08/18/11 leamingtonpostandshopper.com: Essex County has discovered its first mosquito pool to test positive for the West Nile virus. In fact, mosquito pools in both LaSalle and Windsor have come back with positive results, which is the first sign of the virus in the area this year. According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit no human cases have been identified in Windsor-Essex County so far this season.
Trinidad and Tobago 08/17/11 trinidadexpress.com: by Joel Julien – This country is in the middle of a dengue outbreak, Dr Rai Ragbir, the chairman of a special purpose State-board involved in the Government’s fight against dengue, has said. Ragbir, chairman of the Community Improvement Services Limited, made the statement yesterday before meeting with Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma to discuss plans to combat dengue across the country. “The number of people infected with the dengue virus is enough to constitute an outbreak,” he said. “An endemic means we have it always, and an outbreak by definition means we have more cases. So if you want to use the terminology outbreak then yes we do have an outbreak,” Ragbir said. “And it (dengue) will affect each one of our lives and especially for our children. So we have to clean up our environment first,” he said. Close to 2,000 people have been diagnosed with dengue in the country for the year, Sharma said. Sharma however shied away from describing the situation as an outbreak.
NEW WISCONSIN WEBSITE
“HUNT. HARVEST. HELP.”
TO FOCUS ON CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD)
Wisconsin 08/16/11 wi.gov: News Release – Hunters and landowners can learn more about what they can do to maintain a healthy deer herd and Wisconsin’s strong hunting traditions through a new website dedicated to sharing information on Chronic Wasting Disease. The website, www.knowcwd.com, carries the theme of “Hunt. Harvest. Help” and features racing champion Matt Kenseth, a deer hunter and Cambridge, Wis., native, in a public service announcement talking about the importance of teamwork in tackling CWD. “As a deer hunter, I’m concerned about CWD,” Kenseth says in a video public service announcement on the website. “But it’s going to take more than one person to slow the spread of CWD…It’s a team effort Wisconsin. So get out there and hunt, harvest and help.” Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials say the website was developed to share information on how CWD is spread, where the disease exists in the Wisconsin deer population and what other states with CWD are doing about it. There also is information about human health risks. Several additional tabs on the website direct visitors to information on how individuals can help, frequently asked questions and videos.
The website also links to important CWD management information including Wisconsin’s CWD Response Plan and current and past CWD research and statistics. “CWD has the potential for significant, negative impacts on the future of deer and deer hunting anywhere it exists,” said Davin Lopez, DNR’s CWD coordinator. “Minimizing the area of Wisconsin where the disease occurs is the responsible thing to do. Wisconsin’s current CWD policy is containment, rather than elimination of the disease. Hunter and landowner participation is key to this effort. Beginning the week of Aug. 15 TV viewers in the CWD management zone will see CWD public service announcements featuring Kenseth. Also the “Hunt. Harvest. Help.” theme will appear on billboards, in print ads and in other online sources. The website and materials were developed with the aid of a U.S. Department of Agriculture/Veterinary Services grant and a private sector communications firm.