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Wildlife Conservation Society recommends health measures for Argentina's caiman ranches
Date:5/12/2011

The Wildlife Conservation Society and other organizations released a new study recommending a disease screening program for farm-raised caiman in ranching facilities in Argentina to ensure the safety of people and wildlife alike.

The recommendations focus on two crocodilian species, the yacare caiman and broad-snouted caiman, both of which are reared in caiman ranches for sustainable harvest. The research team sought to assess the presence of potentially harmful bacteria in captive-raised caiman at a typical ranching facility in Argentina's Chaco region, where several facilities are currently in operation.

Crocodilian ranching programs are based on wild-harvested eggs and the release of excess hatchlings into the wild.

The study appears in the current edition of The Journal of Wildlife Diseases. The authors include: Marcela Uhart and Hebe Ferreyra of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Rosana Mattiello of the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires; Mara Ins Caffer and Raquel Terragno of the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Administracin Nacional de Laboratorios e Institutos de Salud; Adrianna Schettino of the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires; and Walter Prado of the Refugio de Vida Silvestre El Cachap and the Fundacin Vida Silvestre Argentina.

Between 2001 and 2005, the research team collected samples from more than 100 captive caiman at a ranching facility in the Argentinian Chaco region for the purpose of testing for Salmonella, a common bacteria in reptiles that can be harmful and occasionally deadly in animals and humans. During the survey, researchers found two species of Salmonella, both of which are known to cause disease in humans. Further, in one of the survey years (2002) Salmonella were present in 77 percent of samples collected, suggesting this was not an isolated finding. Since some of the hatchlings are returned to the wild, the chances of releasing infe
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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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Wildlife Conservation Society recommends health measures for Argentina's caiman ranches
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