The interaction between humans and animals is well-known and has been established for a long time. It is manifested in the form of housing animals for food purposes and as pets as well. The “pet birds” are either wild or exotic ones having a high hereditary value which are housed under confinement as friends or for ornamental purposes. Pet birds should be housed under standard conditions to fulfill the basic requirements necessary for the welfare of pet birds. In addition to the friendly relationship of pet birds and humans, such buddies are possible sources of several bugs that are responsible for zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are those which can be acquired from animals to humans. Such zoonotic diseases are comprised of bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal diseases. Therefore, pet birds and zoonotic diseases is an emerging topic nowadays. Following book chapter is a very useful source of information if you want to understand the basic requirements of keeping the pet birds and how zoonotic diseases can spread from pet birds to humans.
Transmission and spread of zoonotic diseases are mostly through the direct contact of birds with humans. In some cases, vectors play a role in this transmission. Vectors are basically the mosquitoes, ticks, and mites which are found either on the body of pet birds or in the vicinity of pet birds. Diseases which are spread from pet birds through vectors are called vector-borne diseases and include various bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections.
The authors of the following book chapter “Welfare of pet birds and potential zoonoses” have deliberated various aspects of pet bird’s wellbeing, zoonotic diseases, and modes of zoonotic disease transmission. At the last, prevention and control strategies of zoonotic diseases are also advised for the general biosafety of pet owners and breeders.
Concluding remarks on pet birds and zoonotic diseases:
In conclusion, the pet birds should be given free access to fresh and hygienic food and water. Any discomfort, distress, pain, injury, and existing diseases should be treated immediately. The bond of pet birds and humans is a very fascinating thing but pet birds and zoonotic diseases is also a fact which cannot be neglected. For control of potential diseases, whenever new pet birds are brought at home, a good idea could be the isolation of new pet birds from the existing pet birds for the first few days. If the new pet birds are suffering from a disease or discomfort, they must be treated by the veterinarian and then mixed with other pet birds. Good knowledge of pet birds’ natural behavior, the basic understanding of pet birds and zoonotic diseases, and different ways of disease transmission can reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission to the owners and breeders of pet birds, eventually providing good care to pet birds.