A survey of the diseases detectable in 141 grey seals stranded on the coasts of England and Wales away from breeding colonies was carried out between mid-1989 and early 1997. The most common fatal conditions in pups less than three weeks of age were trauma (24 per cent of deaths) and dystocia (12 per cent); in pups more than three weeks of age they were starvation (22 per cent) and pneumonia (22 per cent); in juveniles they were drowning in fishing gear (30 per cent) and starvation (19 per cent), and in adults a variety of respiratory diseases were the most common causes of death (45 per cent). Many other diseases, both fatal and non-fatal, were recorded.
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