Diseases from Animals Poultry and Fish

James E. Lessenger

Key words: zoonoses, mammals, reptiles, poultry, livestock, fish, aqua farming

Poultry, animals, and fish raised and slaughtered for human consumption comprise a large and varied group of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. They may be raised in the wild or in small backyard farm plots for a family's own consumption. More commonly they are raised in small and medium farms and, in some countries, feedlots or ponds that are many hectares in size.

In the same way that contaminated food can infect those who consume the meat (see Chapter 2), agricultural workers can become ill from the animal or poultry that they raise. Many of the illnesses are the same, but some are intrinsic to the farm and not found in the contaminated product (1).

The emergence of new zoonotic diseases and the resurgence of old ones like tuberculosis and cholera, reflect changes in human ecology:

1. Rural-to-urban migration resulting in high-density peri-urban slums

2. Increasing long-distance mobility and trade

3. Social disruption of war and conflict

4. Changes in personal behavior

5. Human-induced global changes, including widespread forest clearance and climate changes (2).

Animals and birds are also raised and sold as pets. Rats, mice, parakeets, snakes, prairie dogs, iguanas, and other animals not normally consumed by humans are raised in kennels and kept in homes.

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