We are working to remove the parasite Echinococcus from our grounds so that visitors can experience nature in greater safety. To combat the spread of the parasitic disease echinococcosis, since 2008, we at Grand HIRAFU have been removing the parasite from the areas surrounding our facilities, including the Summer Gondola, the Hotel Niseko Alpen, and the Niseko Tokyu Golf Course. A survey carried out in the fall of 2008 did not show any Echinococcus infection in the foxes in this area. This project is carried out with the support of the Echinococcus Extermination Project run by the NPO WAO Niseko and Yotei Rediscovery Association.
Once a month, in the areas surrounding Grand HIRAFU facilities, we put out food (bait) for the foxes containing a deworming medicine which eliminates the adult Echinococcus parasite from their gut. This is how we eliminate Echinococcus eggs, the source of human infection, from our grounds.
* Note that the pesticide we use is very safe and will not cause injury if accidentally ingested by pets or other animals.
The adult Echinococcus parasite lives in the small intestine of the fox, and its eggs are expelled mixed in with the fox’s excrement. When these eggs are ingested by the Grey red-backed vole, the larvae from the eggs migrate to the vole’s liver where they multiply many times over. The infested wild rodents are then eaten by a fox, and the larvae move to the fox’s small intestine where they mature and produce eggs. If a person accidentally ingests these eggs they will become infected with the parasite, causing a disease called echinococcosis. There is currently no drug available to cure this disease, so it is important to prevent it. Dogs must also be protected, since just like foxes they can become infected by the parasite if they eat an infected wild rodent.
Echinococcus eggs are destroyed by heat, so be sure to thoroughly cook any wild vegetables or berries before eating them and to boil stream water before drinking. Also beware that letting dogs off the leash exposes them to a risk of echinococcus infection. To protect yourself and the animals, please do not touch or feed wild animals.
See the link below for detailed information on echinococcosis.
Website of the Hokkaido Institute of Public Health, “Feature: About Echinococcosis”