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International Zoo Veterinary Group (UK)

***COVID-19 UPDATE 06.04.2020***

A number of recent reports suggest that the current Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has the potential to infect a range of species and subsequently cause clinical disease. So far, SARS-CoV-2 infection is understood to be reported in cats, ferrets and rhesus macaques, and today the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a statement to confirm diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in a captive tiger : (

There have been confirmed cases at two Mink farms in the Netherlands, the Dutch government are currently investigating but it is assumed the animals contracted the virus from their keepers.

We do not know the details of these specific cases but we would like to make our clients aware that the current evidence suggests that infected humans are a potential risk to animals, more specifically that a carrier keeper may pass it to an animal in their care.

With this in mind we would like to offer the following advice, aimed at reducing direct and indirect contact:

• Maintain social distancing from other keepers and also maximise distance from the animals where possible,

• Minimise the number of keepers who are in contact with the animals,

• Ensure hands are washed regularly, particularly before and after food preparation and animal contact (both direct and indirect),

• Wear gloves where possible, but ensure good glove discipline,

• Wear other appropriate PPE if available,

• Consider reviewing training protocols. This should not lead to a negative impact on animal welfare but could include a review of the current requirement for training, the appropriate use of PPE, options for maximising the distance between trainer and animal etc. Taking this into account we would advise that close contact training (e.g. blood draws for big cats, sealion contact etc.) is not carried out during this time.

Please also find the updated chapter from the EAZWV Transmissible Disease Handbook here

Thank you for your ongoing support. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and we will do our best to answer them.

***Guidance for Zoos - Government Financial Support*** ***Zoos COVID-19 Questionnaire***
BIAZA members may have already received this information.

Best wishes from all at IZVG

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Correspondence address: IZVG LLP, Station House, Parkwood Street, Keighley, BD21 4NQ.

Where to send pathology samples:

ALL SAMPLES for IZVG Pathology should be sent to: IZVG Pathology, Station House, Parkwood Street, Keighley, BD21 4NQ, U.K.

If you wish to send a carcass for post mortem examination, please contact 01535 692000 or email for instructions.

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