Disease Risk Analysis Plan for Zoonotic Infections
Implementing a risk management and communication process for zoonotic infections in zoos
The risk of zoonotic disease transmission in zoos is real. In the UK there are currently no recommended risk communication strategies to assess, review or audit zoonotic infections. This submission reports how Chester Zoo formulated a peer reviewed, CBSG endorsed disease risk analysis plan for zoonotic infections, based on new BIAZA guidelines. The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) was contracted to assess risk to staff health, which has led to an ongoing collaboration, and formed an integral part of the risk communication pathway. It has shown to be practical in a zoo setting, and has also been trialled in field and conservation projects. Improving communication reduces the risk of anecdotal and inappropriate reactions to zoonotic disease situations and this in turn reduces costs. The process is under constant review and each disease issue is used as a training exercise for staff, and more formal opportunities for staff to learn about zoonoses and biosecurity are being created. This process has application to all zoos for their species and staff management.
COMMENDATION received for BIAZA Awards 2012 in Significant Advances in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine