Zoonotic Diseases: those diseases that can be
transmitted from animals to humans.
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) receives
hundreds of calls each year from people complaining about the heartbreaking
conditions animals are kept in at Wisconsin puppy mills, breeder factories and
pet stores. Unfortunately, when enforcing Ch. 951 Crimes Against Animals, an
animal is almost dead before it is considered a crime. If we can't regulate pet
stores and breeding facilities out of compassion for the animals involved,
perhaps it's time we took a look at the health risks for HUMANS.
percent of all viruses animals carry can pass to us humans. West Nile, SARS,
Monkey Pox, Psittacosis, the Exotic New Castles disease, and "bird
flu" are six well known viruses that have affected humans just this past
year alone. Animals kept in inhumane conditions, crowded cages, dirty cages,
with poor ventilation and packed so tightly as to maximize profits are breeding
factories for many viruses including some newer ones.
like birds, can hide their illness from you and your family for weeks thereby
infecting everyone before you even suspect the bird is ill. According to an
article appearing on CNN, cats and ferrets are known to have carried the SARS
virus which infected over 8,000 people and killed close to 800 in 2003. This is
not a scare tactic, this is reality.
have pet dogs, cats, birds and reptiles love their animals and treat them as if
members of the family. Disease outbreaks can bring health department personnel
to your home to take your animals away, sometimes to be euthanized as was the
case in California during the Exotic New Castle Disease outbreak. Even though
your pet may have been healthy, your pet can be viewed as a carrier and a risk.
important that breeders and pet stores be monitored so the spread of disease is
stopped as early as possible to prevent problems from getting out of control
like Monkey Pox and Exotic New Castles Disease. (For more information on
diseases that can be transmitted to humans, see:
Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site guide to Zoonotic Diseases.)
reality is, many of our leaders do not see this problem. They choose not to see
animals as living beings with feelings, but rather as commodities that are
bought and sold like furniture. They follow the dollars not their hearts and
they listen to the breeders because the breeders have the funds to contribute
to their campaigns. They also choose to ignore the health risks as long as you
don't notice and there are no current health problems making the news. People
who care about this problem are labeled animal rights activists to group and
belittle these people and their concerns.
In the end it
comes down to the dollar. It is cheaper to take an animal that is ill to a
freezer than call a vet. It is cheaper to sell an unweaned baby bird than wait
9 months for when it can eat seeds on its own. It is cheaper to keep 30
parakeets in one cage than getting four cages and spreading the birds out. It
is cheaper to clean cages and change food and water less.
Are these the
people we want to support with OUR dollars?