Alaska's King

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Alaska Sheep Hunters Asked to Leave Goats at Home

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Fish and Game are asking several hunting guides who are planning on using pack goats for Dall sheep hunts this year to reconsider.

Using goats or llamas as pack animals in Dall sheep habitat could expose Dall sheep to serious or fatal diseases or parasites.

"Most populations of Dall sheep, mountain goat, and musk ox in Alaska have never been exposed to the infectious diseases and parasites of domestic animals," said Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen. "They will likely have little resistance if exposed to domestic animal diseases."

"Domestic animals are not intended to interact with wildlife species. They are fenced and intensively managed for food and fiber production," said State Veterinarian Dr. Bob Gerlach. "Domestic animals, especially sheep and goats, are adapted to several diseases and usually appear healthy even when they are carrying infections that can be deadly to wildlife."

Diseases can be passed though feces, urine, saliva, respiratory aerosol or exudates like crusts from skin or pus. These tissues, fluids or excrement can contaminate the environment and still remain infective for years.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't the hunters get lonely?

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

"Diseases can be passed though feces, urine, saliva, respiratory aerosol or exudates like crusts from skin or pus. These tissues, fluids or excrement can contaminate the environment and still remain infective for years."

Yucky.

12:57 AM  

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