Three veterinary wildlife hospitals have joined a national program to helptrack the health of Australia’s wildlife.

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, WA Wildlife Hospital, and Bonorong Hospital inTasmania have all joined the program known as ‘Sentinel Clinics’ which trackemerging diseases that have the potential to affect human or environmentalhealth, or animals in agriculture.

The program, coordinated by Wildlife Health Australia (WHA), now has tenclinics participating and assists in the sharing of data and discoveriesbetween veterinary hospitals that either have a high wildlife caseload or arein an important location.

Rupert Woods, CEO of WHA, said the addition of the three new hospitals willsignificantly boost the Sentinel Clinic surveillance program.

“The addition of these sentinel clinics adds to the big picture of wildlifehealth. The wildlife hospitals will help to enhance existing surveillanceprograms across Australia. The information these private hospitals feedthrough to us will complement what is already being collected through theseven other sentinel clinics, as well as zoo wildlife hospitals, universities,and wildlife carers.”

Woods said that wildlife are the most common source of emerging diseases andthey are on the lookout for anything new, including diseases found overseasthat could come into Australia.

“We help Australian governments keep an eye on potential disease threats thatcould impact our biodiversity, as well as threats to farmed animals such asavian influenza, or those with human health implications such as Australianbat lyssavirus.”

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Tagged: Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, Sentinel Clinic, Wildlife HealthAustralia

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