Outbreaks of viral diseases have been diagnosed more commonly in raptors in recent years. The practice of feeding carnivorous birds with food derived from other birds exposes them directly to a wide range of potential pathogens. Some viruses which are avirulent in their natural host are known to be more pathogenic when they cross the species barrier. Compromised immunity due to stress or inbreeding may further increase the disease risk. Traditional feeding methods may need to be re-appraised and changed in view of this risk. This paper reviews the literature on viral diseases of raptors and provides additional clinicopathological observations from unpublished cases.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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