January 01, 2004

 

 Guidelines developed for reducing risks from animal contact in public settings - January 1, 2004

 

Guidelines developed for reducing risks from animal contact in public settings

The Executive Board approved AVMA endorsement of the Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease and Injury Associated with Animals in Public Settings. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians developed the compendium, and the AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine recommended the endorsement.

In recent years, recognition of the risks of human injury and disease from animal contacts in public settings, such as petting zoos, has increased. These include injuries, allergic reactions, and infection with zoonotic pathogens, including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp, Coxiella burnetii, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Because of recent outbreaks, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists asked the NASPHV to develop practical guidelines and recommendations to prevent transmission of zoonoses in these settings.

The resulting compendium addresses the public health risks associated with contact with animals at petting zoos, county fairs, exhibitions, farm visits, and other venues where direct contact occurs between people and livestock.

Individuals can access the compendium at www.avma.org/pubhlth/comp_animals_public_settings.asp.