CDC Updates COVID-19 Recommendations for Pet Stores, Distributors and Breeders
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that pet stores, pet distribution facilities and pet breeding facilities establish an animal health and disease management plan and take enhanced precautions when introducing new animals or groups of animals to a facility.
The CDC recently updated its COVID-19 recommendations for pet stores, pet distribution facilities and pet breeding facilities that are considering reopening or continuing operations.
All animals should be monitored in-store daily for signs of illness, and immediately separate sick animals, according to the CDC. Pet business should also ensure that ill animals receive appropriate veterinary medical care in a timely manner.
The CDC recommends seeking veterinary medical consultation for the establishment of an animal health and disease management plan specific to the facility. Any facility that suspects a sick animal may be infected with SARS-CoV-2 should consult with their facility veterinarian, the CDC noted.
In addition, businesses should take enhanced precautions when introducing new animals or groups of animals to a facility.
“Do not accept shipments of animals that appear sick. Observe new animals on intake for any health concerns before housing them in close proximity with other animals within the facility,” the CDC noted. “Consider establishing quarantine procedures for new animals in consultation with a veterinarian, based on the animal species and disease-specific information.”
In relation to introducing new animals to a business, the CDC also cited the following recommendations:
- When possible, avoid mixing animals from different shipments in one habitat.
- Clean and disinfect habitats between different groups of animals and before new animals are added.
- Establish and maintain a record system to allow tracing of animal movement.
- Animals that are surrendered or returned to retail pet stores, breeding facilities, or any other establishments should be kept separate from other animals and observed for signs of illness, in consultation with a veterinarian.
A full list of the CDC’s recommendations on how to protect people and animals in pet stores, pet distribution facilities, and pet breeding facilities can be found here.