Apparently the DPIW Save the Devil Program manager was unaware of this devil tumour case at this wildlife park. But on Tuesday this week the Tasmania’s Chief Veterinary officer Rod Andrewartha did confirm the cancer was DFTD after tests at the DPIW Mount Pleasant Laboratories in Launceston. No media release accompanied this confirmation - either from the Government or the Tasmanian CVO.
Surprisingly, Tasmania’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Andrewartha was not given permission to speak to interested Tasmanian journalists and the Government has also dismissed media queries regarding this outbreak as an issue for the Wildlife Park.
One wonders why the Tasmanian Government and the Department charged with responsibility for animal health & biosecurity would adopt such a secretive and dismissive attitude. Thank goodness is wasn’t a Foot and Mouth Disease notification! More like ‘foot in mouth’ disease.
Dr David Obendorf
THIS week a wildlife park in northern Tasmania recorded its second outbreak of devil facial tumour disease in three years. According to park owner, Androo Kelly, the cancer was confirmed as the transmissible facial tumour (DFTD) after cancer biopsy samples were taken from a 6 year old devil from the Trowunna Wildlife Park near Deloraine. The discovery of the tumour occurred about three weeks ago and the Department of Primary Industry & Water sent out a veterinarian to the park. The Department’s own animal health laboratory undertook the tests to confirm the DFTD diagnosis. As this is a “notifiable disease” under the Tasmanian Animal Health Act, it is almost certain that Tasmanian CVO was alerted at that time.