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Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan
Science and Technology Foresight Center, National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, Kasumigaseki 3-2-2, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0013, Japan
Disease Control and Environmental Sciences, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Iwate University, Ueda 3-18-8, Morioka, Iwate 020-8550, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 January 2012; in revised form: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Simple Summary: The risk of companion animal-borne zoonoses has been rising in Japan with the tendency for increasing number of households to ever-growing numbers and varieties of animals as pets. In response, the Japanese government has implemented measures for the domestic and border control of zoonoses. However, it is impossible to determine whether these measures have adequately controlled the transmission of companion animal-borne zoonoses, due to a lack of (i) direct evidence linking companion animal involvement in disease and (ii) understanding of current trends in disease outbreak. Active surveillance should be conducted on a national level to collect the data necessary to make this determination and identify these trends.
Abstract: Changing social and environmental factors have been the cause of an increase in the number and variety of animals are being imported into Japan. Moreover, the number of Japanese households are keeping companion animals has also risen. These factors, along with the high density of the Japanese population and the low percentage of registered dogs, have increased the risk of animal-to-human transmission of zoonoses. To control zoonosis outbreaks, the Japanese government has implemented a three-stage approach for the border control of zoonoses and has stipulated the monitoring and reporting of eight companion animal-borne zoonoses under the Rabies Prevention Law and the Infectious Diseases Control Law. The fact that no case of human and animal rabies has been reported over the past 50 years indicates that these measures are highly effective in preventing rabies transmission. Although it is known that the total number of possible companion animal-borne zoonosis outbreaks decreased between 2005 and 2009 when compared with numbers between 2001 and 2004, the number of zoonosis cases that can be attributed to transmission by companion animals remains unclear. Active surveillance should be conducted on a national level to collect the data necessary to determine this number and identify trends in companion-animal transmitted diseases. Using the data collected, regulation systems should be evaluated to determine whether they have met reasonable goals and policy planning conducted for the control of emerging diseases.
Keywords: companion animal-borne zoonoses; Infectious Diseases Control Law; Rabies Prevention Law; emerging zoonoses
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Takahashi-Omoe, H.; Omoe, K. Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan. Animals 2012, 2, 38-54.
Takahashi-Omoe H, Omoe K. Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan. Animals. 2012; 2(1):38-54.
Takahashi-Omoe, Hiromi; Omoe, Katsuhiko. 2012. "Social Environment and Control Status of Companion Animal-Borne Zoonoses in Japan." Animals 2, no. 1: 38-54.