Date of this Version
This manual is intended as a reference for people investigating wildlife mortality events or illness. Its primary objective is to ensure that appropriate samples are collected in the field, and that these reach a diagnostic laboratory in suitable condition for detailed examination. This will ensure an optimal chance to determine the cause and nature of the disease and to assess significance.
It is impossible to provide detailed guidelines that will be appropriate for all circumstances; our intent is to provide general directions that can be modified to fit the circumstances. Whenever possible, the laboratory that will be examining the specimens or the regional contact (section 3.0), should be contacted before the investigation begins.
This will establish what type of samples and information are most appropriate, how these should be collected, stored and transported, and how many specimens can be examined. It will also alert the laboratory, so that the personnel can make any special preparations necessary, before the specimens arrive.