Archive | April 9, 2015

Millions of birds killed due to avian flu during past 6 months in South Korea

H5N8 Virus Alert

South Korea and Taiwan have destroyed more than 2.7 million poultry in recent weeks and months in efforts to halt highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks of the H5N8 and H5N2 varieties, according to reports posted yesterday by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
In addition, South Vietnam has reported another H5N1 avian flu outbreak, and low-pathogenicity avian flu (LPAI) H7N7 recently struck a turkey farm in Germany, according to media and OIE reports.
The latest outbreaks prolong a string of avian flu episodes that have surfaced this winter in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. Last week the World Health Organization said the diversity and geographic extent of recent avian flu outbreaks are greater than at any time since the debut of modern surveillance methods.
 South Korea cites 65 H5N8 outbreaks
A South Korean report posted by the OIE yesterday describes 65 H5N8 outbreaks dating all the way from late last September to late January and involving about 2.6 million poultry. The report profiles 22 stand-alone outbreaks and “outbreak clusters” including from 2 to 13 individual incidents.
The affected sites had a total of 2,589,062 birds, including ducks, chickens, geese, and doves. Only 177 cases, all fatal, were reported, but all the rest of the birds were destroyed to stop the virus. Most of the outbreaks were in the southwest and northwest of the country, with a few in the southeast, according to a map in the report.
South Korea had widespread H5N8 outbreaks in January and February of 2014, followed by isolated outbreaks in June and July.
 Taiwan reports H5N2, H5N8 outbreaks
Meanwhile, Taiwan reported that seven recent H5N2 outbreaks and two H5N8 eruptions have forced the destruction of about 180,000 poultry, according to two reports posted by the OIE yesterday. The country has had many H5N2, H5N8, and H5N3 outbreaks this winter.
The report said the seven H5N2 outbreaks involved six farms and one abbatoir and killed 29,960 of 177,328 susceptible chickens and geese, prompting the culling of all the rest. They occurred in the city of Tainan and in Yunlin, Pingtung, and Changhua counties. Authorities said all farms within 3 kilometers of the affected ones would be under surveillance for 90 days, among other precautions.
Taiwan authorities said H5N8 struck a turkey farm in Tainan and a goose farm in Yunlin County, both in the southwest. The virus killed 782 of 1,250 turkeys and 613 of 2,500 geese, prompting the culling of all the rest.
 Findings in Vietnam and Germany
In Vietnam, the H5N1 virus hit a poultry farm in the southern province of Soc Trang, according to a Xinhua report today. Provincial veterinary officials said more than 1,100 birds were culled, among other response measures to arrest the virus. The story didn’t specify what type of poultry was affected.
And in Germany, an LPAI H7N7 virus sickened 2,320 of 23,500 turkeys, killing 100 of them, on a farm in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, according to an OIE report posted yesterday. All the rest of the turkeys were destroyed.
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1,100 Birds killed due to avian flu outbreak in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

H5N1 Virus Alert

The Department of Preventive Medicine, a part of the Ministry of Health, yesterday announced an outbreak of A/H5N1 avian flu in a farm at Dai Hai commune, in Ke Sach District of the Mekong delta province of Soc Trang.
The provincial Department of Animal Health liaised with the local government to bury 1,100 two month-old chickens which infected with the dangerous avian flu virus in the farm and implement measures against the disease as per the regulation.
The Department of Preventive Medicine said that A/H5N1 avian flu is the virus causing avian flu amongst chicken in Asia since 2003 and is plaguing other nations. From 2003 to January 2015, around 777 cases of bird flu were reported in 16 nations and 428 people succumbed to the disease (or accounting for 55.1 percent).
Accordingly, the Department of Preventive Medicine warned people not to eat dead poultry; farms must be disinfected and people have to wear protective clothes when contacting with poultry to reduce the risk of transmission.
When a person experiences a symptom of chest pain and breathing problem, he/she has to go to a nearby medical clinic for examination and treatment.
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4.17 MILLION birds have been killed since January due to avian flu in Taiwan

Bird Flu

The Council of Agriculture said Wednesday that with effect from September, it will be mandatory for poultry to be raised in enclosed spaces, as part of an effort to stop the spread of an avian flu virus that has decimated Taiwan’s poultry farms.
The regulation is being imposed to prevent contact with migratory birds, which will begin arriving in Taiwan in September, said Chang Su-san (張淑賢), director-general of the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).
The agricultural industry must adopt more modern techniques, such as the use of enclosed facilities on poultry farms, to stop the spread of the bird flu virus, Chang said.
Poultry farmers will be given a six-month grace period to comply with the new regulation, after which they will be subject to a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000 (US$853-4,266) that will be imposed by the local governments, she said.
The COA will offer farmers loans at a concessionary interest rate of 1.5 percent to build the enclosures, Chang said.
As of Tuesday, four more poultry farms had been confirmed as infected with bird flu, bringing the total number islandwide to 860 since the outbreak began in mid-January, according to BAPHIQ statistics.
About 4.17 million birds — chicken, geese and ducks – have been culled on 853 poultry farms, the data showed.
So far, 886 poultry farms around Taiwan have been tested for bird flu, according to BAPHIQ data.
Since the outbreak began, the COA has imposed restrictions on the movement of birds on infected farms and has mandated that the farms must be disinfected after culling is completed. Farms within three kilometers of outbreak sites will be under surveillance for 3 months, according to the COA’s regulations.
Chang said the most recent regulation is part of the effort to more effectively contain the spread of the disease.
She said the COA is also considering revising the poultry farm registration system to mandate the registration of poultry farms that have at least 500 birds, instead of the minimum 3,000 at present.
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300 Snow Geese have died this winter due to disease in Illinois, USA

I received the following information from the IL DNR today regarding dead waterfowl being found by goose hunters.   It’s worth sharing.
I do recall many times hearing about dead Canada Geese being found around Lake Sedgewick in Orland Park.  This has always been of big concern to local residents who walk the trail around the lake at this time of year.  Authorities have always been called in the the birds have been checked and it’s the same story as you’ll read about below.
I guess its easiest to say that there’s no need to hit the panic button.  It’s nature and it does happen.  Take the precautions mentioned by the DNR and notify them if dead birds are found in your area.
As temperatures warm this weekend and migrating waterfowl return to Illinois, snow goose hunters should be aware of the potential presence of avian cholera.  Dead waterfowl found at sites along the Illinois River and at Carlyle and Horseshoe Lakes earlier this winter have tested positive for avian cholera. The total number of dead birds at all sites was less than 300. Most birds affected were lesser snow geese, but smaller numbers of greater white-fronted geese and some ducks also were reported.
Avian cholera is caused by bacteria that can spread from bird to bird and also remain in the environment. Avian cholera poses a low risk to people and pets, but safe handling of waterfowl and good hygiene practices are recommended.  Illinois Department of Natural Resources waterfowl biologist Randy Smith said dead birds were discovered in late December and early January. The outbreak ended when the weather turned colder, and laboratory results were not available until migrating waterfowl had moved farther south.
“With warmer temperatures forecast for this weekend, we expect migrating birds – especially snow geese – to be back in Illinois in the coming days,” Smith said. “We are asking hunters to report any sightings of dead birds they may encounter.”
Birds infected with avian cholera usually succumb very quickly. A flock of geese may settle on an area, and take off a short time later, and dead birds may remain. Sick birds are rarely found, but will appear lethargic and have poor muscle control and may die within minutes of being observed. Although avian cholera may affect substantial numbers of birds in some areas, it is not a threat to the overall population.
Smith said an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza is ongoing in western and Pacific coast states but the disease has not been found in Illinois.
Courtesy of

Thousands of dead fish found on coast of East Java, Indonesia

Fish Kill Alert

Thousands of dead fish found on coast of East Java, Indonesia

23,500 Birds to be killed due to avian flu in Schwanewede, Germany

Bird Flu

23,500 Birds to be killed due to avian flu in Schwanewede, Germany

Update: 30 dolphins/whales and 54 turtles wash up dead during 2014 in Abruzzo, Italy

Mare d’Abruzzo, nel 2014 morti 30 cetacei e 54 tartarughe spiaggiate
For lovers of the sea 2014 was an annus horribilis, especially for the people of Abruzzo. 
Last bathing season began with bad news: the waters of the region ranked among the dirtiest of Italy. The rest of the situation does not go better between fishing effort and increase in waste piled on the shoreline after every storm. The situation can not be said to be better for fresh waters: the state of the rivers one of continuing deterioration.
The last glimpse of summer has also “given” an episode that will remain indelible in the collective memory: the night between 11 and 12 September seven sperm whales have beached sull’arenile Punta Aderci, Vasto. A female was pregnant. Of those wonderful animals four were driven back into the sea with a successful supportive crowd of volunteers. The three carcasses (including exemplary pregnant) were subjected to necropsy examinations. Among the hypotheses to explain what happened one of the most credible is the presence of gas accumulated in the blood for an emergence too rapid. 
“It is not difficult to imagine an anthropogenic cause, though perhaps certainties we will not ever,” says the WWF Abruzzo. “The strandings still remain enigmas of marine biology: always occur, but it is a fact that human action has made the phenomenon more frequent.” 
In 2014 you are stranded around thirty cetaceans, mostly bottlenose dolphins along the coast of Abruzzo. Of these most came ashore already dead, others have taken off, but we do not know if they survived or simply have gone to die elsewhere. 
Also 53 species of turtles Caretta caretta, a priority species for environmental protection, have been found stranded or entangled in fishing nets. 
“A trend unfortunately on the rise,” always analyzes the WWF “in just the first two months of the year just started recording 34 dead specimens in a non-natural (most by suffocation). Strandings of these reptiles are appearing frequently in the Adriatic. One reason is probably the intensive commercial fishing, particularly with bottom trawls and gillnets. Turtles frequent the northern Adriatic mainly to feed and usually move south in late August. In recent years, because of climate change, the sea is warmer and in the aftermath of biological rest (August 11 to September 22) are still with us when the boats return to sea in droves to rebuild after the forced break … A possible solution to combat this die-off could be related to fishing techniques eco-friendly since turtles are endangered species at high risk or even a revision of the plans for fishing “measured” according to the marine area of ​​reference and its specific needs. ” 
Fishing is a major cause of serious injuries or deaths, but certainly not the only, stress the animal, “the impact with the boats, for example, are relatively frequent in the busiest as the Adriatic sea, without forgetting the weight increasing pollution. 
Turtles are on the earth long before the appearance of man; have been able to survive the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago; exceeded glaciations and other extreme natural events. They are equipped with sophisticated systems for orientation and a series of devices for hydrodynamic swim for thousands of kilometers. Are perfectly equipped for any natural event, but not for unnatural ones. Precisely for this reason we have to do something before it’s too late for them and for us all. “
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‘Lots’ of dead turtles found on a beach in Piacabucu, Brazil

Praia do Peba amanheceu com grande quantidade de tartarugas mortas
The Peba Beach in the city of distant Piaçabuçu Maceio, 135 km one of the postcards of Alagoas presents on the morning of Tuesday, 03 a lot of dead sea turtles. The location near the mouth of the São Francisco River with a large area of ​​continuous beach is used for spawning of sea turtles.
The problem requires the presence and IBAMA action to study the causes of mortality of sea turtles that is related to the large amount of garbage mainly peti bottles and plastic bags left by bathers on weekends.
Plastic bags as useful shopping days in the supermarket can be the main reason for the increased mortality of sea turtles that come to Alagoas coast. 
In the last three months, more than twenty animals were found stranded on the beaches of Maceio and 90% of them had as cause of death observed ingesting household waste.
The turtles, which are spawning from are the main targets of this pollution that reaches the seas. When they reached the coast to leave their eggs, they end up confusing the plastic with jellyfish, their favorite food. The problem is that the plastic takes 200 years to decompose in nature and is not digested by the animal that dies by suffocation or starvation (stop feeding) that feels constant satiety.
For biologists and environmentalists, plastic today has been a big problem for the preservation of the environment and one of the great enemies of marine life, especially turtles. Surveys show that in Brazil, one billion plastic bags are distributed by supermarkets, it means 33 million per day and 12 billion per year, or 66 plastic bags for each Brazilian in just one month.
What’s worse is that most of them are only used once.
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Thousands of dead fish, plus dead ducks found in a lagoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina

A lot of fish and ducks found dead in the lagoon The Saladita of Sarandi, in the province of Buenos Aires.
The strange episode was reported by neighbors. The cause of death of fish and ducks in place is unknown.
Neighbors said that the killing is due to spillage of toxic waste. Some people reported that “water was suddenly a bright green”.
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Plane’s engine explodes and catches fire at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport

DHA Photo
The right engine of a Qeshm Airlines plane exploded when it gathered speed before taking off from Istanbul Atatürk International Airport on Friday.
As pieces of the engine scattered on the apron, plane’s wheels became unusable.
The pilot managed to stop the plane right on time as flames immediately engulfed the engine of the Airbus-300B4 plane.
Firefighters and health team were sent to the scene and no deaths or injuries were reported.
Passengers were reportedly taken to another plane which was heading to Irani capital Tahran.
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