The Emergent Disease Foundation (EDF), in conjunction with other human and veterinary health organisations, has launched a leaflet aimed at exotic pet owners.
- thorough hand washing with antibacterial soap and alcohol-based gels after handing or feeding an exotic pet
- being careful not to touch hair, clothes (including pockets), door handles and other items immediately after handling exotic pets
- closely supervising children so they do not put their mouths close to the animal
- keeping animals, cages and equipment away from kitchens
Clifford Warwick of the EDF – a charity focused on animal-to-human infections – said: “The modern world enables all too easy acquisition of exotic animals into the home. The pet trade in general, with its high turnover and diversity of species available, offers a speed-dating reservoir for bugs from far corners of the globe.
“My own advice is simple: avoiding exposure to bugs from exotic pets in the home is difficult and best avoided by not keeping them in the first place.”
Owen Evans of the WVS, a charity that provides a veterinary resource to animal welfare organisations worldwide, said: “We work on a day-to-day basis with animal health issues, so we are very mindful of how animals and people can share pathogens
“Avoiding transmission is best served by minimising risks, which is what this new brochure aims to achieve.”