10,000 pheasants to be released to fight ticks

May 20, 2012, Sunday/ 14:26:00

A total of 10,000 pheasants, raised in the Black Sea province of Samsun, will be released into the wild in six provinces that suffer from tick-borne diseases.

The pheasants were raised in a pheasant production center in Samsun established in 1969, as part of a project called “Program to Support Wild Life with Pheasant.” Last year, 120 pheasants were bred from 12 pheasants brought to Samsun from the Caucasus. In the past 12 years, 120,000 pheasants raised in Samsun were released into the wild. This year, 10,000 pheasants from Samsun will be released in Samsun, Bartın, Giresun, Çorum, Sinop and Düzce.

Pheasants are found in Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and the Far East. In Turkey, they live mainly in the Kızılırmak delta, which stretches from Samsun's Çarşamba district to Ordu's Ünye district. Pheasants are useful in destroying ticks.

The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), which is transmitted by tick bites and can be fatal, claimed five lives in Turkey this week. There is no vaccine against the disease, which causes hemorrhaging, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting, and which has a mortality rate of about 30 percent. The disease mainly affects farm and slaughterhouse workers in the countryside in the Central Anatolia and Black Sea regions. The disease is normally transmitted through bites from infected ticks or via direct contact with infected blood and tissue in livestock.

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