Council renews warning of health risk posed by native bat species

Following reports of recent sightings in and around Millicent, Wattle Range Council has renewed its warning to residents regarding contact with native grey-headed flying foxes.

Council warned residents to be wary of contact with the specific breed of bat in July last year as a result of a warning from SA Health. Council had been notified by SA Health of a large colony of native grey-headed flying foxes in a pine forest near Millicent.

Grey-headed flying foxes can carry a rabies like infection called Australian Bat Lyssavirus, a virus that can be transmitted from bats to humans.

Wattle Range Council Chief Executive Officer, Ben Gower warned the public not to touch living, injured or dead flying foxes.

“We have been made aware of a number of sightings in the Millicent area. Residents are reminded that these bats must only be handled by an appropriately trained and vaccinated person and that infected bats may not show any symptoms of illness”.

“People who come across a dead, sick or injured flying fox must not touch the bat and should contact Sue of the 24 Hour Fauna Rescue Group on 0475 132 093, to arrange for removal of the bat”.

“Again, special consideration should also be given to the education of children, highlighting to them the health risks associated with handling bats,” Mr Gower said.

For information visit the SA Health website, and access their fact sheet on bats - Factsheet: Staying safe around Bats – Public Health Fact Sheet #705

For further information please contact:

Ben Gower, Chief Executive Officer
Telephone:                (08) 8733 0900