Introduction and objective:
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) remains an emerging problem in animals, and particular care is required in zoos to protect the health of the public visitors (zoonosis) and the unique animals kept in them, which may be endangered species. In larger zoos, the problem is controlled to a greater extent than in private animal collections. Such places pose a significant risk as visitors make direct contact with animals. The article presents the management, diagnostics of a case of BTB in a ‘private animal collection’, and discusses the legal implications.

Material and methods:
Briefly, a post-mortem examination was performed in two Reeves’s muntjacs (Muntiacus reevesi) in the private animal collection in Poland. Due to the suspicion of BTB, microbiological examination on Lowenstein-Jensen and Stonebrink media and subsequent genotyping was performed.

Post-mortem examination revealed BTB-like lesions. Tests showed that the animals were infected with Mycobacterium bovis.

Taking into account the lack of obligation to monitor infectious zoonotic diseases, the often unknown origin of animals and, frequently, very close contact between people and animals in private animal collections, there is a need to clarify the legal obligations of owners of these private animal collections in Poland to ensure public health protection. The findings of this investigation demonstrate that due to the lack of precise epidemiological data for BTB, it is difficult to define the epidemiological status of private animal collections, and further management depends on the owner’s cooperation with veterinarians.

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