Avian flu updates

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

* The Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
announced in August 2004 that nearly a fifth of the city’s live
poultry vendors have agreed to sell their licenses back to the Hong
Kong government, in cooperation with a plan to reduce the risk from
H5N1, SARS, and other market-transmitted zoonotic diseases. The
city hopes to phase out live markets.
* Wildlife Reserves Singapore culled chickens, ducks,
geese, crows, and mynahs at the Jurong BirdPark, Singa-pore Zoo
and Night Safari, and announced that it would no longer hatch chicks
at the Children’s World petting zoo.
* South African agriculture officials in August supervised
the slaughter of more than 15,000 ostriches and 1,000 chickens at
five farms in Eastern Cape Province, to prevent the spread of an
outbreak of H5N2, a milder cousin of H5N1, not known to harm humans.



From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

ORLANDO–Iams company spokesperson Kelly Vanasse, addressing
the 2004 Conference on Homeless Animal Management & Policy in
Orlando, Florida, announced on August 22 that Iams is prepared to
donate 30,000 microchip scanners to humane societies, animal control
agencies, and veterinarians throughout the U.S.–if the makers will
cooperate to produce a scanner that reads both the 125-kilohertz
chips that are most used in the U.S. and the 134-kilohertz chips that
are recommended by the International Standards Organization.
The 125-kv chips are made by Avid Identification Systems and
Digital Angel Inc., and are used by the Schering Plough Animal
Health “Home Again” program. The 134-kv ISO chips are distributed in
the U.S. by PetHealth Services and Crystal Tag. The latter is the
chip provider to Banfield, The Pet Hospital Inc., but Banfield has
suspended mi威Ȏ܀耀

The form of diclofenac used by humans is not at issue.
Except in consuming arthritic Parsees, vultures rarely come into
contact with residual diclofenac in human remains, and if that was
the vultures’ only source of risk, the vulture population probably
would not have fallen.
By far the greater risk comes from Indian and Pakistani
farmers who use diclofenac to keep lame oxen, buffalo, and equines
on the job pulling carts and plows. When the animals die, their
carcasses are left for scavengers. Residual diclofenac does not seem
to harm dogs or jackals, but cumulative exposure causes kidney
falure in vultures.
“There can be a population fall of 30% a year if less than
one in 200 carcasses available to vultures contain lethal amounts of
diclofenac,” Ornithological Society of Pakistan expert Aleem Khan
told Agence France-Presse. “Two hundred vultures can feed on the
carcass of a single big buf崀ഉࠀ耀

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2004:

YARMOUTH, EAST PROVIDENCE–Massachusetts state budget cuts
that reduced funding for oral anti-rabies vaccination of raccoons
from $209,000 in 2001 to just $60,000 in 2004 left the Cape Cod
Rabies Task Force nearly penniless at the end of June. Rabies first
hit raccoons in Massachusetts in 1992, but a decade of successful
vaccination kept the disease from jumping the Cape Cod Canal until
March 2004. Twenty-two rabid raccoons were found in four Cape Cod
towns by June 13.
The rabies outbreak also hit Rhode Island. The East
Providence Animal Shelter on May 6 reportedly impounded five
raccoons, in violation of protocol; left them with a foster family
for a month; and then exposed them to a sixth raccoon who was found
acting strangely at a golf course.
That raccoon turned out to be rabid. All of the raccoons
were killed. At least 46 people who hand小ఈऀ耀

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

Rumors that the Fund for Animals and the
Humane Society of the U.S. are holding merger
talks reached ANIMAL PEOPLE on July 26.
Confirmation came a few days later.
In the interim, on July 30, five closely
spaced shotgun blasts followed by frantic yelping
disturbed the woods about half a mile from our
remote rural office. Someone apparently dumped
two black Labrador retriever mixes, a mother and
nearly grown son, and fired the shots to keep
the dogs from following his truck.
Ignoring rabbits who boldly ran right in
front of them, the dogs survived by scavenging
for several days before stumbling upon the
feeding station we set up for them.
For almost a month, we fed and watered
them at the same spot–waiting more than a week
for box traps to arrive, and then waiting for
the dogs to get used to the traps enough to begin
“We were standing on a dock,” Alexandra Kerry recounted,
“waiting for a boat to take us on a summer trip. Vanessa, the
scientist, had packed all of her animals, including her favorite
hamster. Our over-zealous golden retriever got tangled in his leash
and knocked the hamster cage off the dock. We watched as Licorice,
the unlucky hamster, bubbled down into a watery doom.
“Now, that might have been the end of the story: A mock
funeral at sea and some tears for a hamster lost. But my dad jumped
in, grabbed an oar, fished the cage from the water, hunched over
the soggy hamster, and began to administer CPR.
“There are still to this day some reports of mouth-to-mouth,”
Alexandra Kerry said, “but I admit it’s probably a trick of memory.
The hamster was never quite right after that, but he lived.
“It may sound silly, and we still laugh about it today, but
it was serious to us. And that’s what matt帍ช଀耀

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

EPPING, N.H.–Mary Ellen Sanderson, co-winner of a $66
million Powerball lottery in 1997, has been sued by a second animal
charity to which she pledged annual funding. Sued earlier by the
Oasis Sanctuary Foundation, a tropical bird sanctuary located at
Cascabel, Arizona, Sanderson was also sued in July 2004 by Equine
Protection of North America–which Sanderson helped to create,
reported Manchester Union Leader correspondent Toby Henry.
The original EPONA directors, Henry indicated, were
president Susan Fockler and director Ronald Levesque, both of
Epping, New Hampshire, and Mary Ellen and James Sanderson, then a
married couple. As with the Oasis Sanctuary, Mary Ellen Sanderson
helped EPONA to obtain a sanctuary site. The EPONA facility, near
Dover, New Hampshire, houses about 25 horses at a time, Hnery said.
According to Henry, the lawsui䄌कఀ耀

Townend alleged that Manop Lao-hapraser also arrived on the scene
recently after notorious wildlife dealer Leuthai Tiewchareun was
arrested near the Laotian border in possession of “the bloody carcass
of a huge Bengal tiger sawn clean in half.”
Leuthai Tiewchareun “was well-known to the authorities,”
wrote Townsend. “In November 2003, when police raided his home,
more than 20 pairs of bear paws lay beside piles of fresh tiger meat.
His deep-freeze contained the body of a baby orangutan from
Arrested then, Leuthai Tiewchareun jumped bail–but despite
that history, he was released on bail again just two hours after he
was apprehended.
The tiger exports to China earlier brought the demotions of
Plodprasop Suraswadi, former permanent secretary of the Thai federal
ministry of natural resources and the environment, and Bhadharajaya
Rajani, former deputy chief of the forestry department䀋ࠔഀ耀

The average lifespan of an AZA zoo elephant is 36 years,
according to AZA spokesperson Jane Ballentine. Most elephants now in
the U.S. were captured before the U.S. ratification of the
Convent-ion on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1972 and
passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 virtually cut off
further imports. These elephants are now middle-aged to elderly,
and have been dying at a rate far exceeding successful reproduction.
Only a handful of zoo-born elephants have survived to maturity, and
only 11 have been imported in the past 32 years, all of them in 2003.
(See “Live elephant exports,” page 20.)
The San Antonio Zoo soon pointed out that it, not the Detroit Zoo,
is Wanda’s legal owner, that she was sent to Detroit eight years ago
on loan, not deeded over, and that she could be reclaimed.
The AZA Species Survival Plan committee eventually decided
that Winky and Wanda should䌊ଗ฀耀

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:

Sodade, a loggerhead sea turtle tagged with a radio
transmitter and tracked via satellite by the Marine Turtle Resarch
Group at the University of Exeter in Cornwall, U.K., was apparently
poached on August 25, 2004 off Cape Verde, an archipelago west of
Africa. “We started to receive an unusually large number of very
high quality location signals from Sodade,” researcher Brendan
Godley explained. “Such signals are received when a turtle spends
large amounts of time at the surface, suggesting she was likely on
the deck of a boat. Then the transmissions ceased, suggesting that
her transmitter was removed and dumped. Given the large number of
turtles captured for food in Cape Verde and the presence of fishing
boats in the area at the time, we think we know her fate.”

Peipei, 33, the oldest known panda in the world, died on

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