Tag Archives: Buffalo

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE proposal would cull 360 BISON from YELLOWSTONE’s migrating herds ~ SOUTH DAKOTA county issues MOUNTAIN LION ALERT in vicinity of local school ~ RABIES report from NEW JERSEY ~ Europe: SWEDEN’s Nature Democrats want WOLVES banned.

American Bison. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Montana 11/21/11 greatfallstribune.com: by Matthew Brown – As many as 360 migrating wild bison would be shot by hunters in Montana, captured for slaughter or shipped elsewhere this winter under a proposal from Yellowstone National Park officials seeking an alternative to the indiscriminate slaughters of years past. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show officials are considering “selective culls” to help reduce the park’s bison population from 3,700 animals to about 3,000. Some of this winter’s anticipated decrease would come from natural deaths.

Photo courtesy Buffalo Field Campaign.

The proposal comes amid rising pressure from Montana officials including Gov. Brian Schweitzer to rein in the size of Yellowstone’s iconic bison herds. Others say the animals should roam freely — although cattle ranchers worry that could bring unwanted competition for grazing space and spread the animal disease brucellosis. Park biologists wrote in the proposal that reducing the population could avoid the need for the large-scale slaughters — more than 1,700 were killed or removed in 2008 — seen during past migrations. In harsh winters, bison leave the park in large numbers seeking food at lower elevations in Montana.

Photo courtesy Buffalo Field Campaign.

State officials said hunting was their top choice for population control. However, Schweitzer said in an interview that for the strategy to work, the park must open its borders to hunting inside portions of Yellowstone where bison often congregate in winter. Past hunts yielded few bison during mild winters when the animals did not cross out of the park. “These things have to have some give and take. The buffalo doesn’t know where the line is when it leaves the park,” said the Democratic governor. “We end up taking care of the oversupply of bison because they aren’t managing their population within the park.”

Photo by Stefan Didam. Wikimedia Commons.

Yellowstone administrators declined an AP request to interview the biologists who wrote the proposal. Park spokesman Al Nash said it was a draft document subject to change, but hunting inside the park would not be considered. Still, after years of public acrimony over the slaughters, Nash said the park is looking for a new and lasting approach to bison management.  Everybody would agree that we would rather not see large culls of animals,” he said. “We’re certainly looking at something that would have to be a longer-term plan.” More than 3,600 Yellowstone bison were removed over the last decade to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis. That included the 2008 number, when Yellowstone’s temporary bison capture pens were overwhelmed and many animals went to slaughter without being tested for brucellosis. The disease can cause pregnant animals to miscarry and has been eradicated nationwide except in the Yellowstone region. Tens of millions of bison once roamed North America. Only about 20,000 wild bison remain and Yellowstone’s are considered among the most genetically pure. – For complete article go to http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011111210311

South Dakota 11/18/11 Box Elder, Pennington County: Residents asked to remain alert because of two mountain lion sightings in the vicinity of the Douglas School campus. See http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/communities/boxelder/mountain-lion-spotted-in-box-elder/article_faa1e5e8-122c-11e1-8543-001cc4c03286.html

New Jersey 11/21/11 Morris Township, Morris County – A raccoon thought to be the same animal that attacked a person and a resident’s dogs earlier has tested positive for rabies. See http://morris.patch.com/articles/raccoon-found-in-morris-twp-had-rabies


Sweden 11/20/11 upi.com: The Nature Democrats, a new political party in Sweden, has just one platform issue: the elimination of wolves from Sweden. The party is hoping to gather support in the Riksdag to gain influence over Swedish predator policies, the Swedish news agency TT reported. The party has sparked a fiery debate between wolf defenders and critics on several online forums, the report said, causing a party founder, Gunilla Gronvall, to back away from the party’s wolf-elimination stance. “We want a zero-tolerance policy in populated areas of the countryside, let’s put it that way. But to say that we want to shoot all wolves would be brutal,” she said. However, Nature Democratic head Marcus Werjefeldt said the original party stance hasn’t changed. “We don’t want to eradicate wolves. We just don’t want them in Sweden,” he told TT. Werjefeldt said he doesn’t know how to keep all wolves out of the country, but maintains policies need to change. “This is all about getting a new predator policy,” he said. The party leader said he was surprised the party has garnered so much attention. “It can’t be news that there are people who don’t want wolves,” he said.


Massachusetts man says COYOTES killed one of his BUFFALO ~ New York’s Westchester County issues RABIES ALERT ~ California man and South Dakota woman each confront a MOUNTAIN LION to save their pets ~ California hospital looking for 6,000 people who received one or more of six vaccinations, including RABIES VACCINE, that may be subpotent ~ Florida’s Pinellas County finds four more SENTINEL CHICKENS with ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES (animal) reports from Alabama, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina (2), Ohio, South Carolina, & Washington ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (human & horse) reports from Delaware, Maryland, & Pennsylvania ~ and an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (horse) report from Michigan ~ Travel Warnings for The Bahamas, & Dominica.

American buffalo. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Massachusetts 09/16/11 boston.com: by Meghan Irons – Coyotes lurking in the woods in Massachusetts have been known to attack dogs, chickens, cats, and even, in rare instances, people. But a buffalo? You better believe it, pardner.  Tyler Kimball says it actually happened here on his farm in the dark of night on Saturday.

Wolf pack surrounding a buffalo

A pack of coyotes entered a pen where his 14 buffalos grazed. When they were done, one was missing.  The coyotes were sly, Kimball said. They separated a relatively young buffalo, 16 months old, from the rest of the herd, dragged it into a nearby swamp, and devoured it.  “All that was left was skin and bone,” said Kimball, who was keeping watch over the pen today as the herd huddled together and grazed on grass. Kimball decided to raise buffalos a few years ago after he visited a farm in Maine and ate buffalo meat. He raises the animals for their meat and uses them to protect chickens that are in a coop inside the pen. The animals are also huge attractions for visitors. After the coyote attack, he vowed to be vigilant in protecting the animals – armed, if necessary. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one, I’ll shoot it,” he said.

New York 09/16/11 patch.com: by Satta Sarmah – The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Friday after rabid animals were spotted in five communities. The alert is for residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk in Ossining, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, or Katonah or a rabid raccoon in Yorktown. On Sept. 8, a man in Mamaroneck killed a rabid skunk with a metal rod after it chased him on Center Avenue. In Yorktown, a resident killed a rabid raccoon after it fought with two dogs on Kitchawan Road on Sept. 9. Four days later, a rabid skunk attacked a dog on Belle Avenue in Ossining and was eventually killed by police, while another rabid skunk in Scarsdale followed a dog into a yard before construction workers killed it by pummeling rocks at the animal. The latest rabid animal incident occurred on Thursday morning in Katonah. A sick skunk was found shaking in a front yard on Buckabee Place. Bedford police shot and killed the animal. No person had direct contact with any of the rabid animals, but the pets that did are receiving rabies booster shots. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the location where each of the animals was found. However, anyone who may have had contact with them should call the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to determine if rabies treatment is needed. For more information about rabies and its prevention, visit the Westchester County Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health. Residents also can call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

California 09/16/11 patch.com: by Nathan McIntire – A Monrovia resident chased away a mountain lion from his hillside neighborhood Thursday night, but not before it killed his cat. Maxwell Harvey was pulling up to his home in the 400 block of Lotone Street at about 10 p.m. Thursday when he saw the mountain lion in a neighbor’s driveway. He noticed it had something clasped in its jaws. “I saw something in its mouth but I didn’t know what it was,” Harvey said. “Then I saw it was my cat so I started to chase after it.” The mountain lion dropped the cat, an orange tabby named “Brett Favre,” in the street a few houses down before scampering back up into the foothills. Harvey said it came back down about an hour later looking for its kill, but he had already picked up the cat’s body. The Monrovia Police Department sent out a robo-call Friday warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. Residents in Sierra Madre also reported seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets on Monday.

South Dakota 09/17/11 rapidcityjournal.com: by Andrea J. Cook – Jill Schad didn’t hesitate when she saw her Sheltie Kay’D clutched in a mountain lion‘s jaws. After calling for help, Schad grabbed a small bottle of antifreeze before advancing on the lion that had her pet in a death grip. “Your adrenalin just kind of takes over,” Schad said. “I just tried to save her.” Schad estimates she was within 18 inches of the lion that had either cornered or carried Kay’D into a boat shed Sept. 4. Game, Fish & Parks officials shot and killed the lion and a female traveling with it later that evening after the animals returned to the area. The killing of the two lions brings to 73 the number of documented lion deaths in South Dakota since the first of the year, Mike Kintigh, regional GF&P supervisor, said. Don and Jill Schad have lived two miles south of Cheyenne Crossing, on U.S. Highway 85, for more than 10 years. This is the first time they’ve seen mountain lions on the property that is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. – For complete article go to http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/woman-stood-face-to-face-with-mountain-lion/article_20f719ce-e0ec-11e0-9b8d-001cc4c002e0.html

California 09/16/11 appeal-democrat.com: Fremont Rideout Health Group is trying to reach about 6,000 people who received vaccines that may be subpotent. Letters were sent this week to patients who received six vaccines potentially affected by a refrigeration malfunction, a FRHG official said Friday. The hospital is offering revaccinations as a precautionary measure. The six vaccines were administered to fight pneumonia; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus; pertussis; rabies; and Hepatitis B. The vaccinations in question date back to February 2010. Chance White, FRHG senior vice president and chief clinical officer, said the vaccines’ manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control indicated there’s a “small chance” the vaccines could be subpotent. In addition to the free revaccinations, the hospital will offer recipients a vaccine against the 2011-12 flu strain, also at no charge. “The manufacturers and the CDC said there’s no danger in getting subpotent vaccines or having revaccinations,” White said. Addresses for everyone who received the vaccinations are on file, but the hospital is concerned some people may have moved and will not get the letter. In addition to issuing a media advisory, FRHG plans an ad about the revaccinations. The outreach was initiated after FRHG identified a malfunction in the refrigeration unit of the pharmacy used to store vaccines; it was getting colder than the temperature range recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Unable to retrieve all relevant electronic temperature data for the malfunctioning unit, the hospital decided to revaccinate everyone, White said. “The prudent thing is to offer the revaccinations,” said White. Questions regarding the vaccines and revaccinations can be directed to a hotline, 749-6654, or email vaccines@frhg.org.

Florida 09/16/11 patch.com: by Sunde Farquhar – Pinellas County officials are advising residents of southwest Florida to double efforts to protect themselves from mosquito bites. That is the message from Pinellas County Health officials, concerned about the risks of disease to humans. Four more sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis, bringing the total of infected chickens in the county to nine. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations throughout the county and are tested weekly for signs of arboviral diseases caused by mosquito bites. County officials say the chickens serve as an early-warning beacon, making them aware of disease-carrying mosquitoes that pose risks to humans. Chickens tested positive in St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole and Palm Harbor.

Alabama 09/15/11 dothaneagle.com: Houston County’s sixth animal rabies case for the year was discovered in a raccoon found at a residence on Clearmont Drive in Dothan. According to the Houston County Health Department, a resident found the raccoon fighting with his dogs and asked for the raccoon to be tested for rabies. There was no known human exposure to the rabid raccoon and the dogs involved are currently vaccinated for the rabies virus.

California 09/15/11 newsreview.com: Chico Police say a rabid bat bit a young boy at Bidwell Park. The boy required treatment after the Butte County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the animal had rabies. According to a CPD press release, the incident occurred as the 6-year-old played on the grass on the north side of Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area.

Connecticut 09/15/11 patch.com: by Stephanie Riefe – On September 14 at 4:23 p.m., the Simsbury Police Department responded to 18 Windham Drive in Simsbury. A resident witnessed a skunk attack a dog several times. Officers responded and located the skunk and it was exhibiting signs of sickness. Simsbury Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz delivered the skunk to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for testing. On September 15, the Simsbury Police Department was informed by DPH that the skunk tested positive for rabies. If you, someone you know or any domesticated animals came into contact with a skunk in the area of Windham Drive within the last two weeks, it is recommend that you contact your doctor or veterinarian for advice. For any other questions or concerns, contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz at 860-658-3110. For further information, view the CT DPH Rabies website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=396178.

New Mexico 09/15/11 lcsun-news.com: by Diana M. Alba – A rabid bat recently was found at an apartment complex on Solano Drive, a state health official confirmed. It was the first confirmed instance of rabies in Doña Ana County this year. The bat was found two weeks ago at the complex and picked up by city animal control personnel, who, believing it was suspect, shipped the specimen to a state health laboratory in Albuquerque, said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian.

North Carolina 09/16/11 newsobserver.com: Wake County health officials say two cases of rabies were confirmed this week, in Wendell and Willow Springs. Both cases involved rabid foxes. In one case, the fox interacted with a dog that had not received a rabies vaccination and had to be put down. The foxes were found near the intersection of Quail Creek Drive and Eddie Howard Road in Willow Springs and near the intersection of Gillies Spring Lane and Wendell Boulevard in Wendell. Residents of both areas are urged to keep an eye out for animals that are acting strangely and to keep their pets close at hand. County officials ask anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner to call Wake County Animal Control at 212-7387. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unknown animal should call their physician or the county community health department at 250-4462.

North Carolina 09/15/11 statesville.com: by Donna Swicegood – A skunk that attacked a dog in western Iredell County recently has been confirmed to have rabies. Iredell County Animal Services Director Chris Royal said a dog, whose owners live on Doe Trail Lane, was attacked by the skunk.  One of the owners of the dog shot and killed the skunk, and the skunk’s body was sent off to Raleigh for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, Royal said. This is the fifth case of rabies this year in Iredell County, she said. The dog, she said, was injured in the attack and was taken to the veterinarian for treatment. However, because of the dog’s age — 14 — the owners decided to surrender it to animal control and it was euthanized, Royal said.

Ohio 09/15/11 patch.com: by Jason Lea – A rabid skunk was collected in the northwest part of Mentor after it had an encounter with two unvaccinated dogs, according to the Lake County General Health District. To make sure they don’t spread the disease, the dogs will be subject to a six-month quarantine. This is the second rabid skunk found this year in Mentor. The first was located about two miles west in the northern, middle portion of Mentor in mid-July. It was captured during a routine Trap, Vaccinate and Release operation carried out by the USDA Wildlife Services. The skunk is believed to be infected with raccoon strain rabies. Since 2004, 136 animals with raccoon strain rabies have been found in Lake County, according to the health district. Health departments in northeast Ohio have distributed rabies vaccine for raccoons to eat. However, the vaccine is not effective in skunks. A new vaccine for skunks is undergoing trials and it is hoped it will be available for use locally next year. Citizens can call the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543 to report dead or sick animals and animals with odd behavior.

South Carolina 09/15/11 islandpacket.com: by Allison Stice – Three people who cared for an injured raccoon in Okatie are undergoing medical treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies, state health officials said Thursday.  Five others are being evaluated to see if they need the preventive inoculation against the virus, which is fatal to humans and animals once it reaches the brain.  The raccoon was found struggling to walk along a road in Okatie when a resident decided to take it home to nurse it, unaware that it was rabid, according to Adam Myrick, public information director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. When the animal’s condition worsened, it was taken to a veterinarian where it tested positive for rabies.  Now, two women and a child who handled the raccoon are being treated by a doctor. The animal did not bite them, but the virus can spread through scratches or saliva, Myrick said. DHEC is still determining how much contact five other people may have had with the raccoon.  “We cannot stress enough the importance of resisting the urge to adopt or feed wildlife,” Sue Ferguson of DHEC said in a news release. “Despite the prevalent folklore, there is no way to tell from looking at an animal whether or not it has rabies, and baby animals can carry the disease without showing the symptoms, as well.” The incident is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in Beaufort County this year. Last year’s total was five rabid animals, with 106 confirmed cases in the state.

Washington 09/16/11 theolympian.com: A dead bat found inside a store on Olympia’s west side has tested positive for rabies, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services department. According to a news release: Two customers found the bat Sept. 9 in the Halloween section of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. The health department was notified Monday and sent the bat to the Washington State Public Health Laboratories for testing. Wednesday, the lab notified Public Health and Social Services that the bat had rabies. The pair who found the bat received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. County health officials are asking the store’s customers to call if they may have touched the bat at the store between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The health department can be reached at 360-867-2500. “People who walked, shopped, or worked at Jo-Ann’s are not at risk unless they came in contact with the bat,” Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, said in the news release. A dozen to as many as 23 bats a year test positive for rabies statewide, said Tim Church, communications director for the state Department of Health. In 2010, out of 200 bats tested, 14 were positive, he said. Nine have tested positive this year, Church said.

New Castle County

Delaware 09/17/11 delawareonline.com: by Hiran Ratnayake – A 71-year-old man from New Castle County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized but his status was not released by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Friday. “What we can release is that he is 71 and he is from New Castle County and that is the extent of what we can release,” said Jill Fredel, department spokeswoman. Between 2004 and 2009, the state had four cases of West Nile virus, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. As of Sept. 13, there were 202 human cases of West Nile virus in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including seven deaths. Fredel said people spending time outside should stay covered up and use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes. “We have one confirmed case and [Delawareans] should be mindful of it,” Fredel said.

Sussex County

At the same time, state agricultural officials also said the health of a Sussex County horse with clinical signs of the West Nile Virus is improving. Tests to confirm the disease on the horse were inconclusive, according to Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, which was notified about the potential case Sep. 6. Delaware has not had a case of West Nile virus in a horse since 2003.

Prince George's County

Maryland 09/16/11 washingtonpost.com: by Maggie Fazeli Fard – A New Carrollton resident has contracted West Nile virus, Prince George’s County’s first confirmed case of the virus in a human, officials announced Friday. There was no information available on the condition of the infected resident.

Pennsylvania 09/16/11 post-gazette.com: by Jill Daly – A Pittsburgh man, who is Allegheny County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, is now recovering at home after being hospitalized earlier this month. More details of the patient could not be released because of privacy concerns, but he is the first reported West Nile case since 2007, according to county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Head pressing horse with EEE

Michigan 09/16/11 chron.com: Officials are reporting Michigan’s first horse death this year related to Eastern equine encephalitis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that lab tests confirmed the diagnosis in a Midland County horse. Last year, the state says there were 56 confirmed horse fatalities related to Eastern equine encephalitis, which is spread by mosquitoes. Others were suspected but not confirmed through lab tests. Suspected cases should be reported to state officials. The disease is rare but can be deadly among humans. Health officials say people should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/15/11 cdc.gov: CDC Outbreak Notice –  Situation Information – The government of the Bahamas issued a public service advisory announcing heightened dengue activity in New Providence. This island is the most populous and includes the city of Nassau. As a result, the US Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency message for US citizens in the Bahamas related to dengue. In August, the Ministry of Health reported that more than 100 cases were being reported daily. Approximately 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms had been reported as of August 9. Mosquito bite prevention measures, such as fogging and communication campaigns, are under way in densely populated areas.

Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and South Central Asia. Dengue is reported commonly from most tropical and subtropical countries of Oceania, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and occasionally Africa. This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue virus transmission occurs in both rural and urban areas; however, dengue is most often reported from urban settings. For the most up-to-date information on dengue worldwide, see the DengueMap on the CDC website. For more information about other countries with dengue in the region, see the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Dominica 09/16/11 thedominican.net – The Ministry of Health in Dominica is actively engaged in bringing an end to dengue fever and leptospirosis on the island. Health officials say they will boost intervention in an attempt to curb the outbreak of dengue fever, which has affected several persons in the Roseau area. So far there are no reported deaths from the outbreak but health officials say there have been 15 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. They are also awaiting the results on nine suspected cases. Dengue fever is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include high fever, rash, severe headaches, back pain, eye pain, muscles and joint pain.

Meanwhile, the government of Dominica has received assistance from the Cuban government to help control the rodent population in Dominica. Over the past year close to fifty persons have contracted leptospirosis with seven confirmed deaths. The last two deaths were reported in May when Ricky Allport and Jonathan Wilson both succumbed to the disease. Just this month four new cases were reported. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, “we are working with Cuban officials. We have evidence of a high population of rodents and because of that Leptospirosis is not under control.” Dr Johnson called on the general public to assist the authorities as they work on controlling the rodent population on the island. Leptospirosis is largely spread to humans from animals and rodents, particularly rats. The disease can cause severe fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pains, and vomiting.

Montana CATTLE herd quarantined when six head found with BRUCELLOSIS; RABIES reports from California, Illinois, New Jersey, & North Carolina; and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, & Ohio.

Hereford bull. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Montana 09/14/11 greatfallstribune.com: by Matthew Brown – Montana livestock officials said Tuesday that a Park County cattle herd has been quarantined after six of the animals tested positive for the disease brucellosis. Additional testing on the animals was under way to confirm the disease, said state veterinarian Marty Zaluski. If confirmed, it would be the region’s 15th infection in livestock since 2004. Introduced by early European settlers and once widespread, brucellosis has since been largely eradicated from cattle nationwide after a decades-long government effort. It persists in parts of Texas and in wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park. Brucellosis can cause pregnant animals to miscarry and has been blamed for weight loss and other problems in cattle. It is not considered a significant threat to human health. Errol Rice with the Montana Stockgrowers Association said the suspected infection in the 150-head herd demonstrated that more needs to be done to eliminate the disease. “The more cases we continue to identify, it makes you wonder have we really made that much progress on mitigating the problem,” Rice said. “The fact remains we still have a large reservoir of the disease in a particular area of Montana that continues to affect our industry.”

Thousands of Yellowstone bison have been captured and sent to slaughter over the last decade to prevent transmissions to cattle when the bison migrate to lower elevations in Montana. That has not stopped transmissions from the tens of thousands of elk that roam freely across the Yellowstone region. Tests on elk over the last year revealed a new area of wildlife infections in parts of Montana west of Yellowstone. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming in recent years started requiring more stringent testing and vaccinations against the disease in recent years. That prompted the federal government to stop automatically imposing trade restrictions on states that have multiple infections. The government also no longer requires that infected herds be slaughtered.

State officials did not disclose the name of the ranch where the disease was found. The Park County infections, if confirmed, would mark Montana’s fourth case in recent years, including one in November on a bison ranch owned by media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner. Turner’s bison remain under quarantine, although testing is under way to lift restrictions on the animals, state officials said. Wyoming had two outbreaks last year and one in February. Idaho’s last outbreak was in 2009. Park County and the Park County Stockgrowers Association each have lawsuits pending over the management of Yellowstone’s bison by the state and federal governments. A hearing in those cases was scheduled next month in Lewistown.

California 09/13/11 napavalleyregister.com: The Napa County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Bureau is looking for a large dog suspected of biting a 5-year-old girl on Sunday. She was bitten on her left side as she and her mother walked at about 5:35 p.m. in front of 1001 Second St. in Napa, authorities said. The girl was treated at the scene, Napa County Sheriff’s Department’s Lt. Doug Pike said. The injury is not considered serious, but authorities want to confirm the dog does not have rabies, Pike said. If the dog is not found, the girl may have to undergo anti-rabies treatment, authorities said. The dog is large, black, with medium-length fur, police said. It is unclear whether the dog was on leash or not. The person who was with the dog, a man in his 60s, allegedly left the scene without providing the girl’s mother with any identification information, police said. He was described as a man of medium build, with dark hair, and wearing a green shirt, authorities said. Anyone with information regarding the dog or its owner should call the Animal Services Bureau at 253-4517.

Illinois 09/13/11 nbcchicago.com: by Jeff Goldblatt – Five rabid bats have been found within city limits over the course of the last month, prompting Chicago Animal Care and Control to notify the mayor’s office about the outbreak. The most recent discovery was on a tree-lined street in the Gold Coast neighborhood, when officers found an “attacking bat” on the ground by a gate in the 1300 block of North Astor Street. Testing later confirmed the bat was rabid. “To have five bats test positive is of concern,” said Cherie Travis, Animal Care and Control’s commissioner. Traditionally, Chicago sees a spike in bat activity in the late summer because it’s the time of year bats migrate. Still, animal and health officials want to prepare and protect given the danger of rabies. Rabid bat discoveries:  Aug. 19: 10544 S. Wood; Aug. 21: 12315 S. Emerald; Aug. 21: 4850 N. Rockwell; Aug. 26: 2206 W. School; and Sept. 4: 1359 N. Astor.

New Jersey 09/13/11 pressofatlanticcity.com: by Caitlin Dineen – A raccoon and a groundhog have tested positive for rabies in Atlantic County, Health Official Patricia Diamond said Tuesday. The two new cases bring Atlantic County to a total of 11 confirmed cases this year. Seven of them have involved raccoons. In a news release issued Tuesday, Diamond said: On Aug. 31, a raccoon was removed from a property on Forrest Drive in Northfield. The raccoon was discovered in the backyard in a “confrontation” with the family dog. During the second incident, a groundhog was found dead Sept. 7 at an Absecon home on Minnetonka Avenue by the homeowner’s two dogs. One of the dogs was on a 45-day informal confinement after it had direct contact with the groundhog. The dog is current with its rabies vaccination and the confinement is a precautionary measure.


North Carolina 09/14/11 wral.com: by Erin Hartness – Wake County health officials said Tuesday that a cat adopted from the county animal shelter on Beacon Lake Drive in Raleigh has tested positive for rabies. The gray tabby kitten, named Silverbell, was in Cat Room A at the Wake County Animal Center between 2 and 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30 before being adopted. Anyone who may have touched the animal during that time is asked to call the county’s communicable disease hotline at 919-250-4462. Rabies is most commonly transmitted from animals to humans through a bite, but people can in some cases get the disease from contact with an infected animal’s saliva. Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said there is no reason to believe that any other animals at the shelter were exposed to the disease. She added that Silverbell was only at the shelter a short time and she’s unsure how many people had physical contact with the cat. “We don’t know how many people exactly would have passed through. We do not believe many people at all,” she said. “There could have been no one.” The kitten was brought to the shelter as a stray and was adopted a couple hours later. Once Silverbell was taken to its adoptive home, it began acting aggressively, Ledford said. The animal died a short time later and subsequently tested positive for rabies. Everyone in the household where the kitten lived is being treated for the disease, Ledford said. The people who work at the shelter take pre-vaccines regularly and are given booster shots when rabies exposure is possible, she said.

Leon County

Florida 09/14/11 wctv.tv: The Leon County Health Department reminds residents and visitors to protect themselves against mosquito bites. West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in sentinel chickens in Leon County over the last two weeks. The chickens are the first warning signs for WNV and other mosquito-borne viruses in the community.

Illinois 09/14/11 suntimes.com: A city of Naperville mosquito trap at Iroquois Avenue and Columbia Street in Arrowhead Park tested positive for West Nile virus last week. The area also tested positive in early August. Since that time, city crews have sprayed the area every Friday morning as a precaution using chemicals in very low volumes, city officials said.

Pottawattamie County

Iowa 09/14/11 thegazette.com: by Aaron Frerichs – Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa in 2011. The case is an adult male between the age of 18 and 40 years from Pottawattamie County, who is recovering.

New Hampshire 09/14/11 wmur.com: The Manchester Health Department said another batch of mosquitoes, collected in Manchester on Sept. 6, has tested positive for West Nile virus. Two other mosquito pools in Manchester tested positive for the West Nile virus in August, but the Health Department did not say exactly where those pools were. A mosquito pool in Nashua also tested positive for the West Nile virus last month. The Manchester Health Department has set up an information hotline to help concerned residents with any questions they have about the West Nile virus. The phone number is 628-6003, extension 325.

Summit County

Ohio 09/14/11 woio.com: Summit County Health Commissioner Gene Nixon announced that two confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus Encephalitis have recently been reported to Summit County Public Health. These are the first confirmed human cases of WNV in Summit County since 2002. Unfortunately, a 78-year old resident of New Franklin expired on September 13, 2011. Our sincere sympathies are extended to his family and friends. The second confirmed human case involves a 47-year old resident of Akron who remains hospitalized. Due to this year’s flooding and frequent rains, Summit County Public Health has identified WNV-infected mosquitoes in 20 Summit County communities. The Health District has increased surveillance and mosquito treatment activities to address this year’s unusual abundance of mosquitoes.

Cornell scientists hope to control West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever by developing method of birth control for mosquitoes; Maine will pay hunters to kill coyotes; Georgia House approves bill to allow deer baiting while Senate kills bill on ranching “alternative livestock”; Rabies reports from Arkansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York (3), Texas, and Virginia (3); and a Coyote report from New York. Canada: Coyote reports from New Brunswick, and Ontario.


Global 03/18/11 usnews.com: Scientists who’ve uncovered the chemistry of mosquito sex say their research may reveal ways to control mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and dengue fever.  The Cornell University team found that more than 100 proteins in the male sperm of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — known to transmit yellow fever and dengue fever — permanently alter female mosquitoes’ tendencies to feed, produce eggs and mate.  The study is the first to identify male proteins that are transferred to females during mating. By isolating these proteins, it may be possible to develop a method of birth control for female mosquitoes, and potentially help control the spread of diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and West Nile virus, said the researchers.  Currently, there is no effective treatment for dengue fever, a sometimes deadly infection suffered by millions of people worldwide each year.  “This is an exciting new avenue for identifying ultimate targets to reduce mosquito vector populations. Ultimately, we plan to select the most promising

Dr. Laura Harrington

candidate proteins as chemical targets or as a focus for the development of other methods for vector control,” study co-author Laura Harrington, an associate professor of entomology, said in a Cornell news release.  The study was published online March 16 in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. (See research article at http://www.plosntds.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0000989 )

Maine 03/17/11 reuters.com: by Sarah Mahoney – Maine officials unveiled a plan on Thursday to beef up the state’s dwindling deer population, including paying hunters to kill more coyotes in affected areas.  The declines in the state’s whitetail deer population have been occurring for decades and will require concerted efforts on several fronts, not just predator control, for deer to bounce back, Governor Paul Le Page said at a news conference.  Severe winters, fewer and poorer quality deer wintering areas known as deer yards, poaching and car collisions, along with predation, have contributed to the problem, he said.  “We can’t just blame this on coyote and bear,” he said.

The state now has an estimated 127,000 deer, officials said, down from 300,000 a decade ago.  Bear likely number about 30,000, and there are about 20,000 coyote, according to the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  Maine hunting organizations have been asking for a stronger herd-management plan for some time. Of the state’s 1.2 million residents, some 146,000 are hunters, and another 30,000 hunters come from out of state each year.

Deer hunting provides an estimated 4.500 jobs, said Chandler Woodcock, commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  The new program, which would allow hunters to lure coyotes with bait and hunt with dogs, is not a bounty, Woodcock said.  “We’re not talking about a wide-scale effort,” he said.  Hunters will be sent into areas with a known problem and paid a per-diem rate as well as some mileage costs, he said.  “With fuel costs what they are, we can’t expect people to spend their own time and money driving long distances into remote areas and not get compensated,” he said.

Conservationists caution that the role of predators is limited.  “Very sustained, targeted hunting of coyotes in deer yards where there has been documented predation can be effective in saving a few deer,” said Sally Stockwell, director of conservation for the Maine Audubon Society.  “But broad-scale hunting of coyotes has been proven to be ineffective over and over again,” she said. “Juveniles just move into the region and take over.”

The problem of declining deer herds is extensive in the northern, western and Down East regions of the state, while deer are still plentiful in the southern region.  Last year, 20,063 deer were shot and killed by hunters in Maine, an 11 percent gain over 2009, officials said.  State officials estimate the new program will need an additional $100,000 per year.  The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife department already encourages hunting of coyotes, working with sportsmen’s groups and providing road kill as bait.  Also, the state legislature recently extended the coyote season for an added two months, from December 16 to August 31.

Georgia 03/18/11 macon.com: by Maggie Lee – In one of the longest debates in a 12-hour state House session, 122 legislators voted to allow close-up hunting of deer that are eating snacks laid out for them.  The majority of legislators endorsed striking a law that says if hunters want to take aim at a deer that is browsing a supplemental feed source such as loose corn or salt lick, the hunter must shoot from at least 200 yards and out of sight of the hoofed animal.  The new open season on dining deer would only apply to the state’s so-called “southern zone,” meaning roughly all the counties below the fall line.

House Bill 277 proponents argued that deer are becoming something of a pest in the South.  “They eat the ripest blueberries on the bush. They know how to do it,” said blueberry farmer and state Rep. Tommy Smith, R-Nicholls.  Others argued that there are too many dangerous — and sometimes fatal — deer-vehicle collisions.   Rep. Jason Shaw, R-Lakeland, bill sponsor, said supplemental feeding is a sound herd management technique and makes it easier to inspect the herd and make culling decisions.  Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, admitted that he’s not a hunter but said, “Our hunters ought to be able to enjoy something that’s so important to them.”   Besides, if anyone thinks it’s unsportsmanlike, Williams pointed out that some people make friends with their cows, even give them names, then kill them at close range.

The most serious of the bill’s 48 opponents was Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin.   He pointed to federal statistics that show Georgia is the No. 1 destination for out-of-state hunters — thus that the industry is doing fine without hunting over bait.   He also lamented that hunters will “stop by Wal-Mart and buy a sack of corn” instead of managing their land for the long term with white oaks and a variety of trees that will support a full web of wildlife.  Knight also argued that data from South Carolina and other states that already allow the practice show that the coyote population will increase with the easy prey of dining deer, and that deer-vehicle collisions won’t decline.

Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, added that he would not want his neighbors using bait.   He said that would lure deer away from the more difficult — but more natural — forests, fields and brooks where he prefers to practice the “art” of deer hunting.   Yet, as the House passed that bill, the Senate turned down another hunting proposition.  Only 20 senators wanted to approve ranching “alternative livestock” and selling entry to hunters. Thirty were against.  An unusual bipartisan alliance killed the bill, which would have legalized ranching and hunting several kinds of deer, antelope and sheep, plus elk and bison.  They argued that such herds might increase the likelihood of importing diseases, and they pointed out that some members of the deer and antelope families in the bill are endangered.  If the same coalition unites against hunting over bait, hunters may have to keep counting those 200 yards.

Arkansas 03/19/11 swtimes.com: by Jordan Grummer – A total of three rabid skunks, two in Greenwood and one in Huntington, have been confirmed in Sebastian County.  Dr. Susan Weinstein, Arkansas’ public health veterinarian who works all possible rabies cases in the state, said rabies only occurs in the wild in Arkansas in skunks and bats. She said this is the time of year when more cases of rabies are discovered.  “This is when skunks are moving around in their breeding season, and so they’re just out and about more,” Weinstein said.  Rabid skunks aren’t an unusual occurrence, Weinstein said.

Maine 03/18/11 villagesoup.com: by Charlotte Henderson – News reports in the Village Soup indicated two recent cases of rabies in Washington, one carried by a skunk and one by raccoon. In addition, several sheep in Union have been diagnosed with rabies necessitating humans who have been in contact with them to undergo treatment.

New Jersey 03/17/11 pressofatlanticcity.com: by Caitlin Dineen —  The Atlantic County Division of Public Health said Wednesday that a raccoon captured March 10 walking in daylight hours along Bonnie Lee Drive in Northfield tested positive for rabies. It is the second confirmed case of rabies in a raccoon in Northfield this year.  Two rabid raccoons were captured in Egg Harbor Township and one in Pleasantville already this year.  County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore said the most recent confirmed case, the fifth this year, does not amount to an outbreak of the virus.

New York 03/18/11 cbslocal.com: Rye – Rising temperatures are raising concerns in many suburban communities over the return of coyotes.  Law enforcement shared their new battle plan in the war between man and beast with CBS 2’s Lou Young on Friday.  It’s a non-lethal response to the increasingly aggressive coyotes of southern Westchester, fired from an air-compression gun.  It looks similar to a recreational paintball gun. The weapon is exactly the same. The ammunition, though, is very different.  “It’s essentially a paint ball filled with pepper,” Rye Police Commissioner William Conners said.  It’s a pepper gun that Rye police have now been issued to use on site whenever they spot a coyote.  “The animals are typically very timid around humans. They avoid human contact. What we saw last year was a change in that. And the experts tell us you need to reinforce the fact that they should be uncomfortable around humans and be afraid of them,” Conners said.  Last year saw several coyote attacks involving children and adults who came to their aid.  Neighbors are still nervous.  “It’s always in the back of our head. We’re always extra careful. We do play outside a lot and hopefully it never happens again,” resident Nina Draddy said.  Jim Horton, with Quality Pro pest control, said he expects the coyotes will be out soon.  “This is the time of year they start pairing up,” Horton told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “They’re gonna have their pups soon. So, they get a little protective of their areas.”  His advice: never turn your back, never run away, make plenty of noise, and scare the coyote. A little of that and a little of the air-compression gun should do the trick.  “It’ll definitely make them feel unwelcome. It should chase ‘em off for sure,” said Tony Galasso, owner of “Crazy Paint.”  There have been no encounters here since October.  “But they are opportunists. They will try and grab whatever they can if they think they can and they will test their boundaries,” Horton said.

New York 03/17/11 nydailynews.com: by Nicholas Hirshon – Glancing into the backyard of her Middle Village house a few weeks ago, Anne Burke cringed.  About 10 feet away stood her dog, a husky named Jesse, sniffing a black-and-white critter. Burke implored Jesse to come inside. It didn’t work.  With a rise of its fluffy tail, the skunk sprayed Jesse. It marked the second time in seven months the pooch met the noxious wrath of a creature that, until recently, was rarely spotted in Queens.  Amid a spike in such sightings – and smellings – locals are calling on the city to crack down on skunks, which can carry rabies.  “I do not want to go through this ever again,” Burke said, noting she spent hours trying to scrub the stench off Jesse. “I am absolutely scared to death.”

Neighbors who live near Burke are reporting a significant uptick in the malodorous mammals on side streets off Metropolitan Ave. between 69th St. and 73rd Place.  They suspect the skunks come from Forest Park and hide out at cemeteries and the brush near the freight railroad tracks along 70th Ave. and Otto Road.  There are debates on whether skunks are a nuisance or a welcome dash of wildlife in a concrete city.  City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) has proposed a law requiring the city Health Department to issue warnings to property owners harboring skunks, raccoons and possums.  If the owner does not respond, Crowley said, the city should remove the animals and charge the property owner. She argues the effort would be self-sustaining.

Under current law, a homeowner’s main recourse against skunks is to hire trappers. Neither the city nor state will remove a skunk unless it bites or scratches a human or pet, or if it displays neurological problems.  Surprisingly to some residents, a skunk spraying does not qualify as grounds for the critter’s removal by the city or state, even though the oily secretion can cause itchiness and temporary blindness.  “This is what we’re up against,” said Barbara Oddo, 50, of Middle Village, who griped the skunks often stink up her block. “They’re telling you they’re part of the environment. No, they’re not.”  When Burke’s pooch was first sprayed last summer, the dog kept pawing at its face. “She ran away in pain,” Burke said.  Flushing veterinarian Dr. Terri Perkins-Lewis said the secretion can be very irritating, but she dismissed Internet reports of dogs dying from the post-spray shock.

New York 03/17/11 watertowndailytimes.com: Port Leyden – A cow in the town tested positive for rabies.  The Lewis County Public Health Agency sent out a news release saying the cow had exhibited the symptoms of rabies infection and was humanely euthanized.  Five people had direct contact with the animal and have received post-exposure treatment.  The agency is encouraging Lewis County livestock owners to consider having their cattle and other livestock vaccinated. The vaccination is not required by state law.

New York 03/17/11 wktv.com: A Herkimer County family is undergoing rabies treatments after a calf on their farm was diagnosed with the disease. It happened at a farm in the Town of Manheim.  The Herkimer County Health Department says lab tests confirmed the calf did have rabies. The calf was euthanized. Additional heifers on the farm may also be infected. Right now the milking cows and horses are under observation. The family reports that the calf was attacked by a skunk. The health department warns residents to use caution around any wild animals and to make sure any domestic pets are vaccinated. This is the second confirmed case of rabies in Herkimer County this year.

Texas 03/18/11 kcbd.com: A man is recovering tonight after being attacked by a cow earlier this week in Motley County. Authorities confirm that the animal is now being tested for rabies.  A Motley county official says some local men were trying to corral the cow to give it medical treatment for an injury when the cow charged, knocking down a man, and then charged again at some other people. The animal was put down. Officials say this happened near Flomot, which is about 85 miles northeast of Lubbock.

Virginia 03/18/11 tricities.com: The Tazewell County Health Department has received confirmation that a raccoon collected March 15 from the Elizabeth Road area of the Gratton community tested positive for rabies.  It is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in the county this year. Eight animals were confirmed in 2010.  According to Brian Stanley, environmental health manager for the Cumberland Plateau Health District, the raccoon attacked a resident’s dog. The raccoon was killed and submitted for rabies testing due to the potential that the dog was exposed. There are no known human exposures, according to a news release from the health district.  “The good news in this case is the dog’s rabies vaccination is current,” said Stanley. “After the required period of observation that can be done at the owner’s home, as long as there is no sign of rabies, then the dog can be fully released back to the owner,” he said.  Any resident who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed should immediately notify the Tazewell County Health Department at (276) 988-5585 or the county’s Animal Control Office at (276) 988-4160.

Virginia 03/18/11 dailypress.com: by Veronica Chufo – A raccoon found in the area of Barclay Road and Haughton Lane in Newport News tested positive for rabies, the Peninsula Health District announced.  Anyone who may have been exposed to this animal, by bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose or mouth, is asked to contact the health department at 594-7340. Exposure includes direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. After hours, contact animal control at 595-7387.

Virginia 03/17/11 wpcva.com: The Pittsylvania County Health Department has issued a rabies alert for residents of Wet Sleeve Creek Road in Chatham.   A raccoon in the area recently tested positive for rabies, said Kelly Waller, an environmental health specialist with the health department.  For more information please contact the Pittsylvania Health Department at 432-7232, extension 260.


New Brunswick 03/17/11 cbc.ca: A coyote was photographed in an undeveloped area between a Saint John shopping centre and housing development earlier this month.  The animal was captured in a series of frames on motion-sensor cameras set up by the Atlantic Coastal Action Program Saint John, a local environmental group.  The March 5 images show the coyote trotting through an urban marshland near McAllister Place mall and a collection of houses off Commerce Drive.  Tim Vickers, executive director of ACAP, said the area had seen a sharp decline in coyote sightings in recent years.  “This is the first one that we’ve seen in the past couple of years. Having these cameras out, we haven’t come across coyotes previous to this,” he said.  Vickers said it was a positive sign that the animal looks healthy. A mangy, disheveled creature might venture to an urban area out of desperation, he said.  “That being said, we are still obligated to let the public know just in case there are people out there that are concerned or they have concerns about their pets being out and about. Coyotes are certainly known for picking off pets in urban areas,” he said.  The images were taken as part of an ongoing project that identifies the function of wetland habitats in supporting fish and wildlife during the winter months.

Ontario 03/17/11 emcottawawest.ca: The issue has been brewing for more than a year and still the province remains silent.  Depending on one’s point of view, coyotes are a growing threat to livestock, family pets or even human life and must be controlled, or they are a valued part of a delicate ecosystem whose sudden removal would cause an imbalance that could lead to further troubles down the road. Regardless of which side of the fence one sits, there is no getting around the growing concerns over the ongoing coyote hunting contests springing up across the province. While the contest in West Carleton was one of the first, others have now taken hold in other parts of Ontario, sparking howls of protests over their legality.

The Ontario Wildlife Coalition has sparked the debate with a flurry of letters to newspapers, including the EMC, as well as provincial government ministries.   Earlier this winter, the group made its position clear with lawyer Peter Copeland stating the contests go against provisions in The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. “In our view, the offering of a prize to encourage a coyote cull is contrary to the prohibition of bounties and on hunting for the expectation of gain,” he noted.  Organizers of the second annual event in West Carleton wonder what the big deal is, noting that with participation up it’s evident farmers are doing what they can to protect their animals.

The coalition has raised concerns regarding safety but organizers contend anyone who signs up to participate must be a licensed hunter or trapper. In fact, everything being undertaken is above board with the Ministry of Natural Resources fully informed.  And this may be where the confusion and frustration lies for opponents. In spite of the repeated calls for a halt to the practice as well as natural resources minister Linda Jeffrey’s own apparent admission that she disapproves of the contests, there has been no official word, yea or nay, from Queen’s Park. An Animal Alliance of Canada spokesperson calls the situation “bizarre” how the minister won’t direct her field officers to step in. This issue seems to be black and white for those on opposing sides. It’s either the rights of the farmers to protect their property or an illegal act that must be brought to an end.  The province has to take a stand. If it is seeking out some sort of grey area, it likely won’t satisfy either side and only lead to more divisive debate for months to come.