New disease threat to red squirrels in Scotland

A new disease threat has recently been identified in red squirrels from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland (BBC Scotland). Six animals have been found infected with a bacteria similar to Mycobacterium lepromatosis which causes leprosy. Signs of the disease are swollen nose, eyelids, ears and feet. Prof Anna Meredith from the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh and colleagues are trying to find out more about this little understood, potentially fatal condition. Members of the public who find dead red squirrels in Scotland can send them to the Veterinary Pathology Unit, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. Further details of where to send carcasses found in England and Wales as well as Scotland, and postage and packaging, can be found towards the bottom of this web page. Members of the public are advised to follow basic hygiene rules when handling dead animals.

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