Thursday, 8 October 2015

Mad cow disease changed the diet of the Galician wolf


Date:October 7, 2015

Source:Plataforma SINC

The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease crisis in Europe was a turning point for the diet of the Galician wolf, which until the year 2000 had primarily fed on the carrion of domestic animals. A new study shows that, after European health regulations made it illegal to abandon dead livestock, wolves started to consume more wild boars, roe deer and wild ponies, but also began to attack more cattle ranches when faced with food shortages in certain areas.

With the arrival of bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- commonly known as mad cow disease -- in Europe, the European Community had to enforce a number of laws in the year 2000 in order to prevent the disease from spreading. Among other things, it became illegal to abandon the carcasses of ruminants that had died on farms; up until then, this had been an important food source for wolves.

From then on, having been adopted by every European country, this measure began to affect a number of scavenger species, especially the vultures that lived on the Iberian Peninsula. But they weren't the only victims; the Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) was also affected.

Continued ...

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