A CASE of squirrelpox has been reported near Moffat.
The town’s Red Squirrel Group have revealed that they had to euthanise a ‘very sick’ red squirrel with what appears to be squirrelpox. It was found in the grounds of Auchen Castle Hotel.
The squirrel’s body has been sent to the Edinburgh Vet School for examination and confirmation of the diagnosis.
The group warned that grey squirrels carry the virus but are immune to the disease, however it is very rapidly fatal for reds. It is extremely infectious and is spread by contact between reds and greys, and importantly, by contact with communal feeders.
Therefore, they are asking everyone who has squirrels coming to squirrel or bird feeders to be very careful to keep feeders clean and to disinfect with an antiviral substance regularly.
In a statement, they said: “If both red and grey squirrels are coming to the same feeders, the risk of disease is much greater and it would be best to stop feeding altogether until greys can be brought under control.
“This may seem extreme, but squirrelpox is a dreadful disease and causes a horrible death for reds. We will keep all our friends informed about the confirmed diagnosis and progress going forward.”