Mange Can Be Stopped
Society, as with all Australian Charities, maintains a public fund, basically
a separate bank account to which all donations are deposited. This fund
is managed by a separate board. Members are welcome to sit on this board
but they must meet the requirements for this as determined by the Environmental
All members of the Society are welcomed at any time to receive minutes,
financial statements and any other material pertaining to the Wombat Protection
Society of Australia.
Some material must be sent to all members as determined by ASIC, for example
notice of the AGM, and AGM. Minutes including financial statements.
The most serious health problem affecting wombats in Australia is mange,
a systemic problem caused by a small mite, sarcoptes scabiei, the same
mite which causes mange in dogs and other animals and scabies in humans.
While the advent of easy to apply treatment has seen the mite limited
or eradicated in human and dogs, wombats, partly because of their nocturnal
and burrowing behaviours have not been afforded the benefits of treatment
and now mange is widespread throughout the wombats' range. No part of
Australia where wombats live is mange free and mange causes a long, slow
and painful death for wombats.
The first Symposium on mange was held in NSW in October 2007 with the
aim of bringing together people involved in the treatment of wombats with
mange to share ideas, issues and concerns.
The Wombat Protection Society wishes to thank Voiceless,
the fund for animals, “People's Choice Awards” for the opportunity
to make this material available to a wide array of interested parties.
The Society applied to Voiceless for a grant to further work on wombat
mange and as a result became one of four finalists for the People's Choice
We thank those who voted online in November for this project and appreciate
the $1,000.00 grant resulting.
This money assists the printing and copying of this presentation and its
Wombats are considered a National Icon for Australia and most pictures
of wombats show healthy animals. Many people don't get to see a manged
wombat and are often devastated when they do. A healthy wombat has bright
eyes, clean and complete hair, skin inside the ears is clear and often
pink, and if they haven't been rolling in dirt, their hair has a sheen.
Many people living in areas where mange is prevalent don't realise that
all the wombats they see infested with mites and what they perceive as
normal hair loss and skin encrusting is totally abnormal and an indication
that the animal will die shortly. Sadly farmers who don't like wombats
joke about not shooting mangey ones because they will spread the infestation
and kill off other wombats.
The antithesis of the healthy wombat is the one with mange. Thickened
plaques of parakeratotic skin form all over the animal, leading to flyblown
fissures. The ears and eyes become covered in thick scab like plaques.
The animal is hunched up, eventually has difficulty moving, eating and
drinking and dies an often slow death, most frequently succumbing to starvation,
deafness, blindness and/or pulmonary infections.
These are secondary infections and not inevitable; however unless the
mites are removed through treatment it appears over time the mites will
exponentially increase and the degree of clinical signs correlates with
number of mites.
That Australia allows any native
animal to live at risk of mange and consequently die in such a state is
a national disgrace.
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