Bayview Bush Babies Inc., a small not for profit organisation near Swansea on the East Coast of Tasmania, are proud to announce that, after being granted all the necessary government approvals, we will shortly commence Australia’s first ever scientific trial of a treatment specifically formulated for wombats with mange .
We have been working with Red Healer (an Australian company who formulates natural remedies for canines and equines) on this natural formula since November 2014 when preliminary trials were undertaken with extremely promising results.
Details of the Project
Title: Development of a plant-based remedy to control sarcoptic mange in the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus).
Species: Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
Location: Wombats diagnosed with moderate to severe sarcoptic mange captured throughout Tasmania will be relocated to Bayview Bush Babies, Swansea, Tasmania.
Aim: The long-term aim is to control sarcoptic mange in free-ranging common wombats. This objective requires a three stage approach with the first stage about to commence:
Stage 1 - using captive wombats to develop an efficacious and safe topical treatment that can be self-applied by wombats to control sarcoptic mange,
Stage 2 - pending AEC approval, release of successfully treated wombats into the wild and long-term monitoring of their health (individuals identified and located using radio transmitting ear-tags) and
Stage 3 - pending AEC approval, a small-scale trial of the remedy and applicator on free-ranging wombats, initially in one location.
Wombats throughout Australia are dying from sarcoptic mange caused by infestations of the parasitic mite, Sarcoptes scabiei. Once wombats develop sarcoptic mange a slow and painful death follows from dehydration, starvation and secondary bacterial infections. Not only is sarcoptic mange a significant animal welfare problem, it also has the potential to negatively impact populations causing local extinctions, for example, from 2010-2015 the wombat population of Narawntapu National Park, Tasmania declined by nearly 85%. We aim to develop a treatment specifically for wombats that will kill and repel mites and facilitate growth of new skin and hair.
The treatment will be tested on 24 captive wombats diagnosed with moderate to severe sarcoptic mange, followed by a period of observation to ensure that the mite has been eradicated. Once a veterinarian has declared treated wombats healthy and fit for release they will be ear-tagged and released back into the prime wombat habitat. Individuals will be tracked and their health monitored to determine their long-term outcome.
Likely impact on species involved:
There is considerable evidence that any wombat with moderate to severe mange will die; it is just a matter of time. Veterinarians commonly recommend such wombats be euthanised so the Project will give these individuals a chance of survival. We expect that the potential benefits of this Project for the well-being of wombats generally to outweigh the potential distress of a small number being kept in captivity for a limited time. Nevertheless, the specific needs of the captive wombats have been paramount in specifying how they will be transported and housed to minimise distress, potential pain and enhance the wombats well-being. Stress from being held in captivity will be minimised by emulating the wombats natural habitat as close as possible, as well as keeping interactions with humans to almost zero. The treatment itself is unlikely to cause any distress as it will only be applied to the skin and fur.
Donations for this groundbreaking research can be made directly to:-
Bendigo Bank BSB no. 633 000 Account number: 157380247
Chief Investigator and President
Bayview Bush Babies Inc.