Message Number: YG62 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Linda Iroff
Date: 2001-02-20 16:44:00 UTC
Subject: ferrets and mink

Wolfy asks about potential health issues with owning ferrets and mink. The
answer: YES!

We all know that ADV originated in mink, and was likely passed to ferrets
in the large farms that raise both. What most DON'T know is that ECE
probably originated in mink as well.

At the Ferret Symposium in Toronto last fall, Dr. Williams mentioned that
ECE was similar to a mink virus, EGE, and that they believe that have
traced the original outbreak to someone who owned both ferrets and mink.

In a private email, I asked for clarification. Did he mean that the ECE and
EGE viruses were related and that ECE likely came from mink? The answer was
yes. And like me, he is concerned about the continued practice of raising
mink and ferrets together. (There is one such large farm south of me near

There are other mink diseases that could make their way into the ferret
world. To quote Dr. Williams: "And we haven't even seen mink encephalitis

One more thing to worry and think about.

Linda Iroff
Oberlin OH