One of the problems state officials faced this week when trying to track down a possible Iowa link to the midwest Monkeypox outbreak was a lack of information. Federal officials regulate brokers who sell exotic animals, state officials don’t keep track of the retail sale of the animals. State Veterinarian John Schiltz says it’s a good idea, but registering every animal would be “a monumental task.” He says there’s currently no mechanism or means to do that, including resources to fund such a program. Schiltz says it would make it easier to have the information at hand. Even is the money was available, he doesn’t know where they’d start.He says he doesn’t know how they would determine with pets to track and which pets to exclude. Schiltz thinks most people though look for more traditional pets. He says there are probably “relatively few” people with exotic pets. Eighteen Gambian rats that were housed at an Iowa pet broker’s facility raised concern this week over a possible link to the Monkeypox virus. That prompted the Secretary of Agriculture to ban the sale and transport of six rodents — including prairie dogs, tree squirrels, rope squirrels, Gambian rats, brush tailed porcupines and striped mice.
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