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Earlier this year, several AZA-accredited zoological facilities in Washington state received an unannounced inspection by the FDA.  While not directly stated, the visits were focused on BSE and those veterinary, animal care, and animal nutrition aspects that could be related to federal efforts to detect and control this disease.  The inspector provided educational materials and a brief overview of BSE to selected staff that met with him.   

Food storage, supplier information, feed transport, and feed record keeping was closely examined.  Zoos were requested to maintain manufacturer labels for one year and track which feed was provided to which zoo ruminants.  Storage facilities were examined for proximity of feeds containing animal protein to other feeds.  Overall, the focus appeared to be the ability to track a food substance from the supplier to the animals that ingested the product. 

Drugs and other therapeutics administered to animals were also inspected, with close attention paid to nutraceuticals and appropriate FDA labeling/licensing (e.g., products labeled for humans prescribed to animals).  One concern identified with the practice of prescribing bovine-origin chondroitin-glucosamine joint supplements to zoo ruminants (e.g., Cosequin).  Per FDA regulations, bovine origin products cannot be administered to ruminants.   

Final inspection reports were not provided to the facilities.  Facilities were instructed to contact their regional FDA office to obtain a copy of the report.  Further action or follow-up by the FDA has not occurred at any of the other facilities at the time of this announcement. 

January 2008 Update on Feed Enforcement Activities to Limit the Spread of BSE; 

FDA issues regulation on animal feeds with added safeguards against BSE;

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