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Copper deficiency “probable cause” of deer illness

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By Anne Lucey

 

Veterinary tests have identified “copper deficiency” in Killarney National Park as the probable cause of a recent distressing condition among the region’s unique Red deer.

 

The Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht say tests of a small number of deer have shown they are suffering from ‘enzootic ataxia’, a condition brought on by copper deficiency.

 

However, the diagnoses is being questioned by conservation and deer management body, the Irish Deer Commission (IDC), which first spotted unusual stumbling and staggering among the Killarney Reds this autumn, who also say that this is the first time it has occurred among wild deer in Ireland.

 

The commission had suspected the deer were affected by “staggers” when a stag with stunted horns was observed in a distressing condition on the fringes of the annual rut walk organised by rangers and the commission in Killarney in October.

According to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, several of the deer carcasses sent for tests to the regional veterinary laboratory confirmed the animals were not suffering from “staggers”.

“The NPWS in observing behaviours recently in a very limited number of deer followed the appropriate veterinary protocols to ascertain the cause and sent several of the deer for tests at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL),” the department said.

“The results from these tests have confirmed that the animals were afflicted in fact by enzootic ataxia, which is a condition that can be brought on by copper deficiency. This is a natural occurring phenomenon that happens where the animals in question fail to get the necessary trace elements (copper) from their food sources.”

 

However, Irish Deer Commission spokesman Damien Hannigan said the Commission are consulting with leading deer veterinary experts who believe copper deficiency is no means the sole cause of the condition and may be complicated by elevated levels of other elements in the forage and soil of Killarney National Park.

“It is known there are also other conditions that produce the same clinical signs to enzootic ataxia, such as the staggers condition,” he said.

 

“The suggested enzootic ataxia diagnosis creates more questions than answers.”

 

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Eileen rewarded for her dedication to athletics

By Sean Moriarty Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer. The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last. As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer.

The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last.

As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home and abroad they decided to honour Mrs Switzer for her “lifetime of volunteering to the community, to sport, to youth and for championing diversity and inclusion”.

“Eileen has been an advocate, a coach and an administrator in the sport of athletics for over 60 years in the town of Killarney, Kerry and beyond,” said club chair Jerry Griffin.

Eileen and her husband Frank have dedicated their lives to the community games and athletics in the greater Killarney area.

“I enjoy, but I don’t like, all the limelight,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I like to watch newcomers as they come up through the ranks, many of the Community Games people of the past are now running the committee.”

In a life time dedicated to volunteerism in Killarney Eileen has helped sports like golf, pitch and putt and badminton grow.  She was also heavily involved in the local Irish dancing scene and remains a great supporter of Kerry Parents and Friends.

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A Mass of Commemoration in Kilcummin

COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr […]

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COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr Kieran laid a wreath.

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