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

Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, WA Wildlife Hospital, and Bonorong Hospital in
Tasmania have all joined the program known as ‘Sentinel Clinics’ which track
emerging diseases that have the potential to affect human or environmental
health, or animals in agriculture.

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

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

“The addition of these sentinel clinics adds to the big picture of wildlife
health. The wildlife hospitals will help to enhance existing surveillance
programs across Australia. The information these private hospitals feed
through to us will complement what is already being collected through the
seven 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 and
they are on the lookout for anything new, including diseases found overseas
that could come into Australia.

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

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Tagged: Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, Sentinel Clinic, Wildlife Health
Australia

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