Protect yourself from feral animals

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ty Rekart
  • 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron
One huge safety risk that poses a threat to all members of the base is the potential to contract diseases from feral animals.

A feral animal is a creature that has not been domesticated or has escaped and become wild.

When coming into contact with feral animals, some animal lovers inadvertently contribute to the buildup and increase of feral populations by offering food, water or some form of temporary shelter.

While these actions may seem harmless at the time, they can result in the animal acquiring several learned behaviors that can put the base at risk for attacks, and the potential spread of various diseases like rabies, roundworm, hookworm, Bartonella Henselae (cat scratch disease) ringworm or toxoplasmosis.

Additionally, while performing actions like feeding or harboring feral animals you are violating Air Force Instruction 32-7064 Integrated Natural Resources Management, which states "Installations will, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, not authorize, fund, or carry out activities that are likely to cause the introduction or spread of feral dogs, cats, pigs, goats or other non-native domesticated animals on AF-controlled Installations."

Furthermore, allowing your domesticated pets to roam freely around the base contributes to the likelihood of your pets -- and by extension, your family members -- contracting a potential dangerous disease.

Please do not feed or attempt to interact with any feral animals you may come in contact with on base as you could put yourself and those you know at risk.

Also, ensure that all trash receptacles are properly sealed and that any containers that could harbor animals are properly stored. This will help prevent the growth of feral populations and, in the end, make the base safer for everyone.