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19 November 2002
Suspected Rabies in Man bitten by a BAT in Scotland
A conservation worker in Scotland was bitten
by a rabies infected bat and he developed a paralytic form of rabies
according to BBC lunchtime news. According to the news item his
condition is likely to be fatal if rabies is confirmed.
Rabies is known to occur in bats. The news bulletin
stated that SNH had pronounced that the public were not at any risk.
Perhaps this is disingenuous of SNH in view of the fact that SNH
have been instrumental in having conservation orders placed on bats,
so that any person inhabiting a house that becomes infested by bats
has a very real problem getting rid of the bats. It seems not unrealistic
that in such a situation (and there have been several well documented
instances of it) the human inhabitants could well be at risk of
being bitten by a bat.
Perhaps SNH should rethink their excessively strict
stance on giving preference to the welfare of bats over that of
people. Furthermore, any pronouncements that they make for public
consumption should be accurate and not aimed at defending their
own, and not infrequently misguided, policies.