Friday, July 15, 2005
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Parasite threat to pets and wildlife
Belfast Telegraph, UK
A new parasite which could kill pet cats and dogs and a range of much loved wildlife has been discovered for the first time in Britain, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has warned.
The flatworm - called Pseudamphistomum truncatum - is believed to have been introduced by ornamental fish imported from Russia and eastern Europe.
Some of the fish escaped from ponds and are now thriving in the Somerset Levels.
The worm is passed on when animals, like cats, dogs, otters and foxes eat raw fish which have been infected.
The disease is also capable of - in rare cases - infecting people.
Vic Simpson, a leading veterinary wildlife pathologist who discovered the parasite, said: "This new disease is a worrying development.
"It is another example of the ease with which new diseases can be introduced and which can pose a threat, not only to wildlife, but also to pets and humans alike."
Pets at risk from killer parasite
The flatworm, called Pseudamphistomum truncatum, also threatens the country’s population of wild otters, which is still recovering from the effects of environmental pollution in the 1960s and 1970s.
The parasite, which can also infect humans, is believed to have been imported to Britain from Russia and Eastern Europe in the guts of ornamental fish.
Kate Stokes, the Water for Wildlife manager of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “The discovery of this parasite emphasises the importance of monitoring wildlife for evidence of disease. Anyone finding a dead otter should report it to their local wildlife trust or the Environment Agency.”
Animals infected with the fluke are particularly common on the Somerset Levels and experts believe that it may have been carried there by the sunbleak species of ornamental fish. Scientists have blamed another fish, the topmouth gudgeon, for spreading the infection elsewhere in Britain.
Feral Cat Blog! Note:
The Somerset Levels and Moors is the largest extensive area of lowland wet grassland remaining in Britain and supports huge flocks of waterfowl in the winter, including internationally important numbers of Bewick's swans, golden plovers, teals and lapwings.
It is also one of the most important breeding areas for lapwings, curlews, redshanks and snipe - wading birds that all require wet grassland. In addition there are important botanical communities and a rich invertebrate fauna. For these reasons much of the area is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), Ramsar site and Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA).
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In harmony with nature
A Calabasas organization is working to preserve, protect and enhance the Santa Monica Mountains in response to growing communities affecting the landscape that stretches from the Camarillo Grade to Pacific Palisades.
... For example, animal regulation officials dealing with coyote complaints have typically found feral cats being fed near the location. ...
[Feral Cat Blog! Note and Resource: If you're caring for feral cats, please do all you can to protect both the cats and other inhabitants: keep food area clean, pick-up any remaining food, feed during daylight and so on. See also Instructions on Managing Feral Cat Colonies to Not Impact Wildlife from TNR +. ]
Cat explosion leaves shelter with dilemma
Evansville Courier & Press (subscription), IN
... When the agency completes its spay and neuter clinic, which Paul said should be soon, that will help in maintaining the population. ...
International Day for Korean Dogs and Cats
When: Friday, July 15
In Defense of Animals - Campaigns
Click at left on Dog Abuse in Korea