Animal Health

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Animal Health Page Photo

© Robert Kemnitz, Louisville Zoo


Animal Health

AZA appreciates the importance of the rigorous preventative medical care that is provided for animals residing in its Accredited Zoos and Aquariums and recognizes that this enhanced level of care is directly related to excellent animal health and the prevention or early detection of illness. To uphold this advanced quality of animal care, AZA enforces numerous Accreditation Standards, manages several Committees and Scientific Advisory Groups, and provides various reference materials which specialize in animal health within its accredited institutions.

Antivenom Index

An online Antivenom Index, developed collaboratively by AZA and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and managed by the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, is used to assist AZA-accredited institution and poison control center personnel manage and locate antivenom as needed. Go to the Antivenom Index.

Bioterrorism Preparedness

The AZA Animal Health Committee, Veterinary, Biomaterials Scientific Advisory Groups, and its accredited institutions proactively plan for potential bioterrorism event. These bioterrorism management plans include detailed staff training protocols, factsheets about potential diseases of concern, preparedness procedures, communication strategies, and traceback methodologies. Read more about Bioterrorism Preparedness.

Infectious Diseases

The AZA Animal Health Committee and Veterinary Scientific Advisory Group, and its accredited institutions recognize that infectious diseases have the potential to impact ex situ animal populations. Infectious disease management plans are maintained by all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. These plans detail staff training protocols as well as provide factsheets about disease etiology, symptoms, method of transmission and infection protocols. Read more about Infectious Diseases.

Quarantine Procedures

Specific quarantine facilities, personnel training, medical assessments, disinfection procedures, and protocols are used to prevent the introduction of pathogens into a pre-existing population of animals cared for in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. Quarantine requirements are defined in AZA accreditation standards, and in some cases mandated by local and/or federal regulations. Read more about Quarantine Procedures.