Date: 2001-09-20 23:40:00 UTC
Subject: A Plea for Testing
As many of you are aware, some of the ferrets from the Utah
Rescue may have been exposed to ADV while in transit to a
shelter in Florida. This is a very sad situation, indeed.
My purpose in writing this is not to blame or point any
fingers. Although I do not know all the details, I assume
that the possible ADV exposure was not discovered until after
the fact. I have the greatest respect for the people that
were helping with this rescue, and their intentions.
My purpose is to again urge everyone to test your ferrets for
ADV. Until a ferret is tested, you can not know whether or
not it has ADV.
Ferrets should not be transported across the country, or even
across town until their ADV status is known. Ferrets should
not be taken into homes where other ferrets live unless the
ADV status of all ferrets involved is known.
Right now, the only way to stop this disease is to find the
animals that are positive, and restrict their contact to
ferrets that are not positive.
I am not trying to create a panic, just to get everyone to act
If you think your ferrets are safe because ADV is not in the
area where you live, think again. ADV is out there, and if
there are no positive ferrets reported in your part of the
country, it is probably because no one has tested, or because
the ones that have positive ferrets have not spoken up. Many
people that have positive ferrets prefer to not make public
statements, and as long as they take precautions so they do
not infect other people's ferrets, that is fine.
There is no excuse for not testing. You no longer have to
have your vet do the test. Ferrets can now be tested without
drawing blood. There are options for collecting the sample
yourself and sending it in for testing, and even test kits so
you can run the test at home. If you have a large number of
ferrets, the cost of testing is not cheap, but it is a lot
cheaper then the cost of having infected ferrets.
Shelters that take in ferrets without knowing their ADV status
are playing with fire. All shelters should begin a rigorous
testing program, and use the Quicktest on all incoming ferrets
before letting them into the shelter. We can not afford for
our fragile ferret shelter network to collapse due to
Everyone, please, take this seriously. TEST YOUR FERRETS.