Ready seal seal stain has been blamed for the deaths of about 3,300 dogs and cat lovers in Western Australia, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University in Adelaide found the problem is far from over, and it’s only just getting started.
The study, which was published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, used data from the WA Department of Agriculture to look at the numbers of seal-borne diseases that occurred in WA.
It found that at least 13 per cent of seal deaths occurred in seal pens.
In other words, there was a lot of seal damage to people’s homes, businesses and vehicles.
The researchers also identified some diseases that can be contracted from seals, including Ehrlichiosis and Wolbachia.
“We were shocked to see that seal-based infections were far more common than we thought,” lead researcher, Dr Daniel Hochberg, said.
“There are many more cases of sealborne diseases in the general population than we’d anticipated.”
The main reason is that seal breeding is so widespread in WA.
“Dr Hochburg said seal-bred dogs and seals were living in “abject poverty” in WA due to a lack of clean water and sanitation, and were the “preferred source of infection” for seal-infected dogs.”
While this is a problem that has been well documented, we haven’t identified any diseases that we can’t explain in terms of seals breeding,” he said.
Dr Huchberg said the state had a number of “critical barriers” to seal eradication.
He said the WA Government should consider a plan to increase seal density, “to create a healthier environment for seals”.”
This could be achieved by introducing more seal-breeding and improving seal health in seal-free areas of the state,” he added.
Dr Daniel Hockenbury, who led the research, said the findings were encouraging.”
It’s important that we look at this as an opportunity to do more and more work, especially when we know there are other significant diseases that could be caused by the seals that we’re breeding,” Dr Hochung said.
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