Hooo-Hooo Volume 11 Nr 2 - Page 20

WildLife Group of the SAVA zonal separation of FMDV-infected buffalo and our commercial livestock industry, using the imaginary “red line” and vaccination strategies in the buffer zone. In South Africa, cattle are dead-end hosts for CD.. or at least they should be, otherwise it would be called East Coast Fever, which is supposed to not be here (but that’s a story for another day). CD is ultimately not going to cause a nationwide pandemic, but there’s enough concern that infected buffalo are relegated to the Kruger National Park (KNP) and northern KwaZulu- Natal (nKZN). Elements in the current bVPN however need revision, such as the manner in which tests are interpreted, and the immoderate actions for blood results that are more likely to be false positives than reflective of true disease (hopefully in future articles we’ll expand on the complexities of disease testing such as sensitivity vs. specificity, screening vs. diagnostic, direct vs. indirect etc). Of course, pathogens don’t distinguish between wildlife and domestic hosts- only the disease outcome varies (i.e. illness, carrier status and the ability to transfer disease), dependent on the host’s innate susceptibility. As if there was at some level some interspecies competition, buffalo are clinically susceptible to two traditional cattle diseases, brucellosis (CA) and bovine tuberculosis (bTB). With the emerging threat of bTB in the KNP buffalo and a necessity to reintroduce these bulk grazers to FMD-free national parks and private properties across the country (historically extinct due to the Rinderpest of 1896 and over-hunting), there was an initiative in the late 1990s to ensure that this Big 5 species could be translocated without spreading disease. With much credit owed to Dr Roy Bengis, so commenced the buffalo projects where calves free of FMDV, CD, CA and bTB were bred from infected dams sourced from our national parks behind the red-line or from nKZN. Free-ranging “disease-free” buffalo are thus a unique phenomenon to South Africa, and their value has escalated far beyond meat-price driven by the demand for hunting and breeding. With closure of the projects, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) needed a new document to guide the state veterinarians sanctioning the tremendous amount of live translocations taking place; hence the buffalo veterinary procedural notice (bVPN) of 2017. 20 Introduction of new individuals into closed herds is the greatest disease risk factor for SPF herds- biosecurity is vital. There is no one more concerned about animal health than a buffalo owner. Confirmation of a controlled disease in even one animal within a specified pathogen free (SPF) herd has significant financial implications (the state does not compensate for culled wildlife), and the logistics, testing and time required to lift a quarantine can be implacable. Furthermore, with respect to the “exotic” diseases such as CA and bTB, the SPF herd is completely vulnerable to the health status of ѥٕѽɅ饹ѡɑ́)ՙɽ) ɸ݅́ѡ́ɕ͕䁉ՙݹ)ٕѕɥɥ́́ݡ䁹ՍѠ)ɕɥѥ́ɔѡѥٕѽ)䴁ѡɔɔɽ᥵ѕѥ́ɔ)ѱѡMAՙ͕͔ɕم)ݥɕ Ёٕѽ)ٕݥѡЁѕѥمѥٽٕ)хєٕѕɥɥ