"Climate Change Amplifying Animal Disease: Agency"

"Climate change is widening viral disease among farm animals, expanding the spread of some microbes that are also a known risk to humans, the world's top agency for animal health said on Monday.

The World Animal Health Organisation -- known as OIE, an acronym of its name in French -- said a survey of 126 of its member-states found 71 percent were "extremely concerned" about the expected impact of climate change on animal disease.

Fifty-eight percent said they had already identified at least one disease that was new to their territory or had returned to their territory, and that they associated with climate change.

The three most mentioned diseases were bluetongue, spread among sheep by biting midges; Rift Valley fever, a livestock disease that can also be picked up by people handling infected meat; and West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquito from infected birds to both animals and humans."

AFP had the story May 25, 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009