KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

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Lesego
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KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by Lesego »

The Kruger National Park’s Veterinary Wildlife Service Department will from tomorrow (3 July 2012) begin with the final process of a Bovine Tuberculosis (BTB) research project, which started in 2008 in the park in order to determine the effect of the disease on free ranging buffalos.

BTB is an alien disease which entered the park as result of buffalo contact with BTB infected livestock in the mid 1950’s outside the park and it poses a big threat to conservation of biodiversity. In 2008 an extensive research project was initiated in the park in order to gain some understanding of BTB and its effect on buffalo. A sample of about 200 buffalos was selected, captured and fitted with radio-collars so that they can be re-captured at six monthly intervals for the collection of diagnostic samples, application of treatments and assessment of body condition. The final stage of this research process which is taking place from tomorrow will see 125 – 150 of the 200 sampled buffalos being euthanized and to have complete post mortems conducted.

In this process, the researchers will be able to determine the status and the progression of the disease. The process will continue until mid August and will be happening around Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge.


Issued by:
Public Relations Department, Kruger National Park

Enquiries:
William Mabasa
HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park
Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919
email: [email protected]
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DinkyBird
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Re: KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by DinkyBird »

And to add to what you have said, if say buffalo are not dying off due to TB, why are TB free buffalo at such a high price? What was the latest someone paid for a bull ... R20 mil?
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Re: KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Quick few facts (from courses in KNP and discussions with folk in the know):
Buffalo are the main reservoir of BTB in KNP since getting it from infected cattle on the borders of the park in the south back in the 50s. They have now spread it right through the park.
In general buffalo do not get sick from BTB, but they pass it on to other animals which do (Lions, kudu, bushbuck, etc)
Lions are eating raw meat....if the meat is cooked it should be OK for human consumption.
Many animal diseases might make the animal lose condition rather than kill it.....that is what happens with things like foot and mouth. It means the animal is useless for farming/butchering as it will have little meat or yield little milk for example. The effect is largely economic, but that is why they cull infected domestic animals.

I suspect they are wanting to see just what effect the BTB is having on the infected buffalo and the only way to do this is by autopsy. They have said they are looking at animals that have already been monitored, so they already will have some facts and figures to compare with the results of the autopsy.
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Re: KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by o-dog »

ecojunkie wrote:I did say 'in general' the buffalo did not get sick......but then that is what this study is about! Any animal under stress will sicken from any infection etc. But the buffalo do act as carriers more than the other animals.


Ok I think I misread..sorry :redface:
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Re: KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by Maargat G »

Just my little knowledge gained from a current researcer and vet in KNP on the lions and the effect of BTB on them. Spent a few nights with him on a certain trail where we talked into the ungodly hours of the night.

The first thing he said was that the BTB situation in KNP is more serious than we think. He mentioned that almost 98% of the lion population in the park was infected with the disease, but that there is also signs of the lions gaining resistance that keeps them alive a few years longer.

Like EJ said, some baffalo do get sick. The signs areds just not as visible as it wouldve been incase of lion. ANd they are vectors to the disease. But some to get sick.

The thing why people would paid 20mil for that baffalo is a combination of a few things. First there was the disease free factor, but that wasnt the main factor. GENETICS was. IF you go back and trace the parents and their parents of this baffalo that was sold the genetics and by that I mean horn size, width, thickness ect, body build and those factors combined to make it a specimen few will be able to have. And these baffalo and I know for a fact, this one sold for 20mil will be put to cows, their young sold for millions to more people who will continue to do this and somewhere in the line a few will be sold to hunting people, where hunters from across the ocean will come to pay a few hundred thousand $$$. Ive heard from a friend of mine that he had a visitor from Ukraine that a baffalo were hunted 2 weeks ago for $400 000, and that was for a medium sized bull!!
And then peopel would pay for disease free buffalo to prevent it from spreading to their farms which is free of the disease. Financialy I would also do it. I cant risk to loose a lot of my animals which got infected by the disease when I was ignorant to pay more for a disease free buffalo and in the end I will have to pay more to get those buffalo out and get new buffalo in as well as replenish the other animals that died....
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Re: KNP to get an answer on Bovine Tuberculosis

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Also 'disease-free' buffalo refers to the absence of Corridor disease (spread by ticks) not BTB.
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