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The Acoustic Ecology Institute: “Animals directly affected by some aspect of living near wind turbines”

The Acoustic Ecology Institute — June 2012

This is the most substantial report I’ve yet seen suggesting that an animal is directly affected by some aspect living near a wind turbine.   In this case, the wind farm company requested that a vet examine the dog after the owner contacted them about a dramatic behavior change in one of his working sheep dogs after nights in which the wind blew from the turbine direction.  Like many human reports, the effect occurs only in particular wind conditions; I wonder whether it’s similar to some wind farm neighbors who experience ear pressure and popping when downwind from turbines, perhaps due to air pressure differentials in the turbine wake, or due to a particularly strong physiological reaction to low frequency noise.  Many other reports of effects on farm animals have been more general, making it hard to preclude other possible causes.  Of course, as in humans, such dramatic effects appear to be relatively rare, but worthy of noticing.

The report was originally published in the Hamilton Spectator on June 24, but doesn’t seem to be available on their website any longer.  The bulk of the article is reprinted below:

Veterinarian Dr Scott Shrive, from Hamilton Vetcare, said he examined a Kelpie working dog from a client that was quite concerned about the behaviour of the dog. “It is usually very active, alert and an excellent working dog, and it has become very withdrawn and this is more evident when wind is coming from the same direction that the wind turbines are in,” he said.

“The dog is reluctant to come out of its kennel when the wind is coming from that direction – it won’t work, they can’t get it to work, it won’t even jump up on the vehicle, but on days when there is no wind, so when the turbines aren’t working, it goes back to normal, it comes out of its kennel it is happy to work all day like it normally does.”

Dr Shrive said the owners requested him to examine the dog because they had contacted the turbine company near their property and they had requested that a vet examine this dog.
“It was brought in to me to be examined just to make sure there is no underlying disease going on that might be causing this, a middle inner ear problem or something like that. I examined it and could find no underlying disease whatsoever it was a totally healthy normal dog,” he said.  Continue reading here…..

sheep-dog

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