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Scientists are investigating the mass deaths of the entire population of birdlife on a tiny island off the cape to eradicate concerns of a possible outbreak of bird flu.
Australian Quarantine Inspection Services Far North scientific Manager James Walker told the Cairns Post he was deploying a team of scientists onto remote Night Island, south of the Lockhart River early next week.
It is the second visit of an AQIS team to the island since mid-april when a trawler crew reported the island was covered in large numbers of dead birds.
The first search found no evidence of Avian Influenza but the fact Torres Strait pigeons were also reported among the dead birds added weight to the priority of our investigations
We will have another visit to the island to make sure there are no more signs of dead or dying birds.
Among the victims was one of Australia's leading scientists, Dr David Banks, head of quarantine authority Biosecurity Australia.
Among those killed, Dr David Banks, the principal scientist with the pest and disease watchdog, Biosecurity Australia.
“Dr Banks qualified as a veterinarian in London and later became Chief Veterinary Officer in Papua New Guinea. He completed a Doctorate in Epidemiology at James Cook University and undertook research projects on livestock diseases in the Pacific islands, Indonesia and Timor.
“Dr Banks commenced work for the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service as Principal Veterinary Officer in 1990. One of his first projects was the development of the highly successful and innovative Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy.
“He was planning to retire at the end of this month and wanted to do one more field trip in far north Queensland before he completed his career. Dr Banks, who was formerly a pilot in the airforce reserve, was returning from the tip of Cape York yesterday when the plane in which he was travelling crashed into a hillside on approach to the Lockhart River airstrip,” Mr Truss said.
A specialist in animal diseases, he was returning home from his last field trip before retiring at the age of 55
Originally posted by shots
Just curious, how can an op/ed be considered an alert? I thought Mods assigned alerts. This is just an opinion of the author as I see it. It also took place in June of this year