Institutional Risk Analysis: A Smarter Basis for Preshipment Testing and Quarantine Elimination?
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2014
Geoffrey W. Pye1,4, BVSc, MSc, DACZM; Chelsea Wallace2, DVM; Matt Marinkovich3, DVM; Patrick J. Morris1, DVM, DACZM; Bruce Rideout1, DVM, PhD, DACVP
1San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, CA, USA; 2School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA; 3College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA; 4Present address: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Bay Lake, FL, USA


Improvements in preventive medicine, disease eradication, pathology programs, and our understanding of diseases in zoos should make us question the current AZA/AAZV standards for quarantine and the extent of preshipment testing. Institutional risk analysis (based on a comprehensive pathology program with 30 years of data) was used at San Diego Zoo (SDZ) and SDZ Safari Park to eliminate quarantine (1994) and transmissible disease testing (2006) of animals transferred between the two institutions. In order to determine whether risk analysis could also be used for outside institutions, we reviewed quarantine mortality and morbidity data (risk of transmissible disease importation) and compared outgoing preshipment testing results with collection necropsy data (risk of transmissible disease exportation) at San Diego Zoo (2009–2013). No mammal failed quarantine due to a transmissible disease risk to the collection over the five-year period. The few birds and herps that failed from a transmissible disease risk were those accepted from sources without comprehensive pathology programs and no preshipment testing (e.g., non-AZA institutions, private breeders, confiscations). Both outgoing preshipment testing and necropsy data at SDZ showed no risk of transmissible disease exportation during the same period. Where risk analysis indicates, preshipment examinations could eliminate testing for transmissible diseases that the sending institution’s pathology program shows are unnecessary, and quarantine could be eliminated at the receiving institution. Resources currently spent on unnecessary quarantine and preshipment testing could then be more appropriately directed (e.g., pathology program, new arrival acclimation).


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Geoffrey W. Pye, BVSc M.Sc DACZM
San Diego Zoo Global
San Diego, CA, USA

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