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Survey Finds Few Veterinarians Treating Poultry and Livestock in Small-Scale Operations

A team of researchers surveyed veterinarians in California, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon regarding their treatment for backyard poultry and livestock. Of 880 survey respondents, most veterinarians perceived an increase in backyard poultry and livestock in their practice areas, but few were actively treating such animals, according to UC Davis. Reasons cited included lack of facilities, interest, or experience. Dr. Alda Pires, co-principal investigator, noted, “Due to the potential for public health issues and the spread of zoonotic disease, veterinary professionals need increased training and better awareness of the health and welfare of these animals.” Co-investigator Dr. Dale Moore commented, “A previous survey found that the owners want more access to livestock and poultry medicine. This follow-up survey highlights the need for veterinarians, along with extension specialists, to work with small-scale poultry owners to improve biosecurity measures, better detect disease, and mitigate potential future outbreaks.”