Pieterburen, The Netherlands - July 10, 2007
Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre - Lenie 't Hart

"Virus threat: red alert brought back to phase 2: code orange

The number of dead seals in Denmark is no longer rising on the island of Anholt. Danish Researchers had discovered a morbillivirus (phocine or canine distemper virus) there and had brought this to the attention of the media.

The Danish institute now declares that no dead seals have been found on any of Anholt's neighbouring islands, nor has there been any increase in deaths along the Danish coast. We hope that the Danish researchers will soon clarify what exactly is, or, has been going on in Anholt. It seems a great coincidence that three times now the common seal has suffered from mass mortality in Anholt. At the SRRC, all the seals have been vaccinated and we hope to be able to release the first 14 in three weeks time. We have not found any suspect dead seals in the Netherlands yet. Meanwhile, our large tent has been equipped as a stand-alone rehabilitation unit for sick seals showing suspect signs. The firm Jager from Midwolde (asbestos removers) has supplied a shower unit so the ex-winter pavilion is able to function as an entirely independent unit.

Latest update from Danish researchers on Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV).

During the first week of July, 33 seals were found dead near the Danish island Hessel¯ (south of the island Anholt). This number of deaths must be added to that of the 60 dead seals that have meanwhile been found on Anholt. The spokesperson for the Danish Forest and Nature Agency could not verify whether the Hessel¯ victims were in fact PDV victims. This island and its surroundings were not being monitored at the time that the outbreak of the Phocine Distemper Virus on the nearby island of Anholt was reported. We hope that the virus will not spread."

- email to SealWatch.org