posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 02:02 PM
It's not a muskrat...we do not have them on Long Island. It could possibly be a raccoon...the only thing that is making me think not is the upper
part of the skull....raccoon's don't have a "beaked" upper jaw. I was thinking possum too, but again, the upper jaw. And its Montauk, NY, not
Montauk Island. And the island everyone is thinking about is Plum Island.
Here is the info on Plum Island:
Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
Plum Island Animal Disease Center is a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) facility devoted to diagnosing and researching foreign diseases of animals.
Named for the beach plums that grow along its shores, Plum Island's ownership was transferred to the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in
1954 to establish a laboratory to study foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and other exotic animal diseases. The diagnostic activities at Plum Island were
transferred from ARS to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in 1983. Since then, under the administration of ARS, APHIS has
maintained a foreign animal disease diagnostic laboratory (FADDL) on the island. Plum Island is the only location in the United States where
infectious foreign animal disease agents can be studied. It is located 1 1/2 miles off the northeastern end of Long Island, NY.
The livestock population of the United States is susceptible to numerous foreign diseases, and an outbreak could have severe consequences for
producers and consumers. FMD is the most infectious and economically devastating animal disease known and is found nearly worldwide. Based on a study
conducted some years ago, if FMD became established in the United States, it would cost producers an estimated $12 billion over a 15-year period and
raise the cost of meat and dairy products by 25 percent. Such an outbreak would also have a tremendous effect on annual U.S. exports of animals and
animal products, which in 1988 were valued at $6.5 billion. The efforts of the FADDL are directed at keeping our livestock population free of
devastating animal diseases.
Functions of the FADDL
* Diagnosis of Foreign Animal Diseases. APHIS scientists at the FADDL have the capability to diagnose more than 35 exotic animal diseases, and
they perform thousands of diagnostic tests each year to detect the presence of foreign animal disease agents. The tissue and blood samples that are
tested are submitted by veterinarians suspecting an exotic disease in domestic livestock or by animal import centers testing quarantined animals for
foreign diseases. Samples are also submitted by animal health professionals in other countries who need help with a diagnosis.
* Training. An integral part of the laboratory's mission is training animal health professionals in the recognition of foreign animal diseases.
FADDL staff present several courses each year at Plum Island to give veterinarians, scientists, professors, and veterinary students the opportunity to
study the clinical signs and pathological changes caused by foreign animal diseases. FADDL scientists also give presentations on foreign animal
diseases throughout the United States and other countries.
* Reagent Production and Vaccine Testing. Diagnostic reagents, such as antisera specific for foreign animal disease agents, are prepared at the
FADDL and are distributed to laboratories throughout the world. FADDL employees also tests the safety and efficacy of vaccines for selected foreign
* Developmental Work. FADDL staff work to develop improved techniques for the diagnosis or control of foreign animal diseases. In recent years,
FADDL scientists have developed such useful tools as a polymerase chain reaction for the detection of the FMD virus and a thermostable rinderpest
* Custodian of the North American FMD Antigen Bank. This bank stores concentrated FMD antigen that can be formulated into a vaccine if an FMD
introduction occurs. The bank is owned by Ca