Biosafety Information & Prevention Measures
Precautionary Measures Undertaken For Bird Flu
Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which operates Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo, works closely with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on the precautionary measures against bird flu. Our animals, visitors and employees’ safety are of paramount importance to us and we will do all that is necessary to ensure their well-being.
Stringent bio-security measures which have been implemented at the parks and these include:
- Vaccinating all birds that are exposed to the public and free ranged.
- Providing disinfectant foot dips and for keepers and disinfectant mats for visitors entering walk-in exhibits.
- Conducting periodic bird-flu drills for staff.
- Training staff to monitor the birds daily for symptoms of illness.
- Reporting and investigating unusual trends in bird deaths.
- Placing sentinel chickens (provided by AVA) at strategic locations around the parks to monitor and detect for the presence of any diseases.
- Giving flu injections to staff.
To date, there have been no known cases of bird flu in any of the parks, or in the country for that matter.
Nonetheless, we have various levels of preparedness and are prepared to work together with the AVA. We will continue to monitor the situation in our parks and the region and if need be, activate our emergency plan accordingly together with the AVA.
Precautionary Measures Undertaken For Dengue
All WRS parks have a stringent routine for pest and mosquito control. Daily checks are undertaken by Origin Pest Control, who also conduct foggings twice a week, and additional Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) every ten days.
Although the Mandai geographical location has not been identified as one of the risk areas, as a further precautionary measure, Singapore Zoo and Night Safari have tasked Origin Pest Control to further intensify their mosquito breeding prevention efforts.
Precautionary Measures Undertaken For Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
At all WRS parks, we have always adopted stringent standards of safety and hygiene in the management of our parks.
In view of the fact that Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) has surfaced locally in recent times, we have implemented extra precautionary measures against HFMD to ensure even higher standards of hygiene. These additional precautionary measures were adopted following consultation with the Ministry of Health:
- All hand washing facilities (hand dryer, soap dispenser, etc) are inspected daily to ensure that they are functioning properly
- Only anti-microbial hand wash soap is to be used
- All cleaning solutions now also include 5% bleach
- More signs will be put up in the toilets to encourage personal hygiene such as the 7 techniques of hand washing
Frequently Asked Questions - Influenza A (H1N1) Measures In WRS Parks
- What is influenza A (H1N1) flu?
The new strain of influenza A (H1N1) involved in the current flu outbreak in humans is a result of several strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that are separately, endemic in humans, birds and swine.
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that it has not been isolated in swine. It passes with apparent ease from human to human, an ability attributed to an as-yet unidentified mutation.
- Are there any live pigs in WRS parks?
Yes, we have live pigs in both Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.
- How many pigs are there in WRS parks?
We have a total of 55 pigs at the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. These include babirusa, warthogs, red river hogs and Malayan bearded pigs.
- Is it safe to come into contact with live pigs at WRS parks?
Visitors are not allowed to come into contact with pigs in WRS parks, as the exhibits are fronted by water or dry moats which help protect our pigs from the H1N1 virus. We encourage visitors to maintain proper hygiene practices, such as washing of hands after contact with animals including pigs.
- Will WRS be closing the exhibits for these animals, especially with the recent case of human to pig transmission in Alberta, Canada?
The pig population in WRS parks is confined within the parks. Our specimens do not have any contact with other pigs. Thus there are no plans to close our exhibits.
However, to safeguard our endangered species, WRS parks will confine our babirusa, warthogs and bearded pigs behind the scenes if necessary.
- With the current H1N1 community outbreak in Singapore, will WRS be putting down the pigs?
We would like to assure the public that WRS parks practice strict biosecurity surveillance in consultation with AVA. Our pigs are confined within the parks and our collection; and they do not have any contact with other pigs. The current influenza A (H1N1) infection is spread from human to human, and we will be ensuring that our pigs are properly protected from such transmissions by maintaining our continuous vigilance and sound biosecurity practices.
- What measures are being taken to ensure the safety of visitors?
Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks have taken measures to install signage's to reinforce the need for visitors to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilets and if they have come into contact with any animal. Sanitisers are also placed at strategic locations within the park to encourage visitors to sanitise their hands.
We are working with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to monitor the influenza A (H1N1) situation closely. Hygiene and the safety of our animals, visitors and staff are of utmost importance to us.
Keepers are also reminding guests to wash their hands after all animal token feeding sessions.
The parks have also increased the frequency of their cleaning schedules for various facilities. This includes wiping down of all rental equipment such as wagons and strollers with a sanitizer every time they are used, instead of just once daily.
In addition, we are also monitoring the condition of our visitors and keepers, and those who show symptoms of being unwell — coughing, sneezing and other flu-like symptoms — will be asked to consult a doctor immediately. In line with the government’s guideline, WRS representatives will call 993 if keepers appear ill, develop high fever (> 38 deg C), sore throat, cough, body aches, runny nose, headaches, and tiredness. WRS employees intending to travel or have travelled to countries such as USA, Mexico, Canada, UK, Spain, Chile, Australia, or Japan are required to declare their travel details.
- Are WRS parks taking the temperatures of their guests?
At the moment we are not taking temperatures. As a precautionary measure we have placed sanitisers at strategic locations to remind visitors to keep their hands clean.
- Will the water play area at Rainforest Kidzworld be closed?
Currently, Rainforest Kidzworld will remain open. Visitors are encouraged to adopt good hygiene practices and to wash their hands regularly.
- Will the animal petting section at Rainforest Kidzworld be closed?
The petting section at Rainforest Kidzworld is currently open. We encourage visitors to adopt proper hygiene practices, such as washing of hands after contact with animals.