Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease is hypothesised to be a contagious cancer according to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. But where are the published studies to support this claim?
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New Evidence of non-allograft transmission in Tasmanian devil cancer
A paper published on 20 May 2016 by Cui et al in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications rejects the DFTD allograft transmission theory.
Thanks for visiting my website. In my PhD research I examined the Tasmanian devil cancer research program and found that many studies, including those to confirm the contagious cancer theory, had not been undertaken. There are other wildlife with cancers threatening their survival including the Green sea turtles in Moreton Bay, Queensland, the Beluga whales in the St Lawrence Estuary, Canada and the sea lions in the San Francisco Bay, United States. In all four cases more studies need to be undertaken to determine if environmental pollution found in their habitats is the cause of the cancers.
I have been involved with activists, researchers and others in Tasmania seeking to address the widespread overuse of pesticides in eucalypt plantations and their harmful effects on commercial livestock and wildlife. I have had a keen interest in the protection of wildlife and biodiversity because of its role as bioindicators to human health. In New South Wales I have been involved in the protection of habitat for koalas, yellow-bellied gliders and other native species. Many species of wildlife including koalas, wombats, platypus and frogs are threatened by disease. The most harmful human activity is habitat destruction followed by environmental contamination.
Dr Jody Warren
Wildlife diseases are a bio-indicator to human health.
Wildlife is the first to be exposed to environmental toxins as a result of industrial, agricultural and domestic practices.
To bring attention to the lack of scientific studies into the role hazardous chemicals play in the development of cancers. Not only as carcinogens but acting as endocrine disrupters and their role in epigenetics.
One chemical of most concern is atrazine a member of the triazine group of chemicals.
Disclaimer: The opinions on this site are my own and in no way reflect the opinions of the University of Wollongong.
Chemical pollution is one of our most challenging issues.
Environmental toxins are found in every environment including the Tasmanian devils; Green Sea Turtles in Moreton Bay, Queensland; Sea Lions in the San Franciso Bay; and St Lawrence Estuary Beluga whales. All are threatened with fatal cancers.
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has focused on securing the future of the devil outside Tasmania on mainland Australia. The success of this breeding program, to ensure a viable future population, is difficult to assess. Extinction is still the prospect for the future of the devils unless the issues of habitat destruction and environmental contamination in Tasmania are addressed.