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Monday, November 27, 2006

Health Threat From Exotic Pets

According to this Associated Press story, exotic animals captured in the wild "are streaming into the U.S. by the millions with little or no screening for disease, leaving Americans vulnerable to a virulent outbreak that could rival a terrorist act." Basically, you don't need some psycho-terrorist to carry out an act of bioterrorism. All you need is little Jack or Jill down the street with a pet jerboa or kinkajou to bring terror to the masses. It goes on to say that the illegal black market trade in exotic wildlife in the U.S. is only second to the illegal drug trade and that most animals that arrive here legally aren't even quarantined or inspected for disease. Talk about the bird poop waiting to hit the fan. A more in-depth review can be found in the November issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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