Tourists in India face threat of zoonotic diseases

Tourists are endangering their health and safety by interacting with elephants that are not screened for any zoonotic diseases, with no vaccination and treatment records with the mahouts, observed PETA.

600full-the-elephant-man-screenshotA team of four veterinarians assessed the health of elephants and various issues came to light during the inspection.

The overall assessment of 34 elephants at Amber was carried out with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) checklist, ‘Asian Elephant Body Condition Index’, ‘Elephant Physical Examination Record’ and ‘Elephant Medical History’.

Many serious epidemic diseases are zoonoses that originated in animals. These include rabies, Ebola virus and influenza. In a systematic review of 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans, 61% were zoonotic.

“The owners/mahouts did not have any record of vaccination and treatments carried out in the past for their elephants. They did not maintain vaccination register nor the disease and treatment register,” said Dr Manilal Valliyate from PETA.