Isolation and quarantine were used from hundreds of years to reduce the spread of diseases. Almost all countries of the world use isolation and quarantine for the control of diseases. This procedure makes check and balance on Air ports to avoid the transfer of any biological toxin, virus which may contaminate their country and spread the disease.

Isolation and quarantine in biological disease outbreaks

Isolation is defined as the separation of infected animals or individuals from healthy animals having contagious diseases to avoid spread of disease through direct means. For example, tuberculosis and Foot and Mouth disease etc.

Quarantine is to keep new animals separate from the existing herd for a period of 14-21 days to check whether these animals are infected or not, because incubation period of different diseases complete during this. After this, mix the new animal in herd if found disease free.

History of quarantine

Organized efforts against disease starts during the plague epidemic of 1347–1352.Quarantine was first introduced by Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in 1377.It is not known why the length of 40 days is use for isolation. It is thought that it might be according to the theories of Hippocrates about acute illness to avoid any contamination of disease. To reduce the spread of disease, steps taken for the control of disease. It might be aerosol transmission control of disease or contact or through body secretions.

The first English quarantine regulations, drawn up in 1663. In ports in North America, quarantine was introduced during the same decade that attempts were being made to control yellow fever, which first appeared in New York and Boston in 1688 and 1691, respectively. In 1720, quarantine measures were prescribed during an epidemic of plague.

International scenario of isolation and quarantine

Isolation and quarantine were used from hundreds of years to reduce the spread of diseases. Almost all countries of the world use isolation and quarantine for the control of diseases. New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and other countries control different diseases through these methods e.g.; FMD, Hemorrhagic Septicemia and Influenza etc. This procedure makes check and balance on Air ports to avoid the transfer of any biological toxin, virus which may contaminate their country and spread the disease.

National scenario

Animal quarantine department is responsible for quarantine services in Pakistan. It makes rules and regulations about vaccination program, control strategy of disease, which animal is allowed to come in country and which not, and inform people about any outbreak so that they may adopt measures to reduce the spread of disease. When we import high producing animals like Holstein Fresian from abroad, there are chances of attack of diseases which are eradicated in their country. They are more vulnerable to that type of diseases, so we should quarantine them first.

In 2012, it is heard that thousands of sheep were killed on Air port, it was actually due to the reason that this flock is infected with Ebola virus which may infect the human also, so to avoid virus spread, they were killed. FMD is also a huge economic loss causing disease which infect our animals every year. It causes the death of young calves but not cause mortality in adult animals.


Isolation and quarantine shed should

  • Provide an air space, water source, and feed source separate from the rest of your livestock.
  • Prevent direct contact with the rest of your livestock.
  • Provide a clean, dry, comfortable resting space for the animal(s).
  • Facilitate transition to a new ration.
  • Allocate adequate restraint facilities for examinations and administration of treatments.
  • Allow equipment storage in that area (e.g., shovels, halters, buckets, etc.) for use only in the isolation area.
  • Prevent the movement of equipment and manure from the isolation area to other locations with livestock.
  • Ensure workers clean hands and boots and change clothes before going to other areas.

Steps involved

  • Ill animals should be kept away from the healthy animals where the passage of animals and people is less.
  • Provide them separate feeding and drinking equipments to ill animals.
  • Provide separate worker to ill animals, if possible. If not they should change their shoes from one shed to another and should adopt sanitary measures to reduce the spread of disease.
  • The animals which are imported should be kept separate to check for any disease in them whose clinical signs not appear or healthy animals which may be infected by local diseases, not prevalent in their hometrack.They should be double vaccinated and kept in isolation for 2-3 weeks.

Role of isolation and quarantine in eradicating disease

By isolation and quarantine, we can control the spread of no. of diseases in which FMD, Hemorrhagic Septicemia and Influenza on top. Here is the detail of FMD that how it spread and by this we can set its control measures:

Foot and mouth disease

It is caused by specific type of virus; Rhinovrus or Apthovirus. It has about six strains which cause disease in different parts of the world.

Spread of disease

  • Direct contact of animals
  • Contact with saliva and other body secretions
  • Feeding equipments, workers and veterinarians which visit different farms may be the source of spread because virus reside in the respiratory tract of carrier and hence transfer to other farm.
  • Aerosol transmission

Signs and symptoms

  1. Viremia
  2. Vesicles formation on mouth parts and hooves
  3. In later cases, ulceration of these vesicles
  4. Sloughing of skin of tongue, lips and hooves
  5. Drooling of saliva

Economic importance

This disease causes a huge economic losses every year. Millions of rupees spent on the medication and vaccine of the disease. It also affects the meat export which is banned by different countries due to risk of this disease. Efforts are made by the Govt. to control this, Pakistan is on stage 2 of stage 6 of FMD control program.

Pet passport in Pakistan

Regulations for taking a pet, service or emotional support dog or cat to Pakistan

Pakistan does not quarantine healthy pets who meet the following requirements:

  • Your pet must be vaccinated for rabies between 30 days and 12 months prior to entering Pakistan.
  •  Veterinary Certificate for Pakistan must be completed. A licensed veterinarian completes the form and you have it endorsed by the quarantine department if traveling from any foreign country. If you are traveling from another country, the Governing Authority in your country responsible for the import and export of animals should endorse the forms.
  • If you are importing pet to Pakistan from BSE infected countries, the National Veterinary Authority shall certify the BSE status of the country and the feeding of pets with meat, bone meal and  proteins derived from BSE infected ruminants has been banned and effectively enforced.

The BSE  infected countries are UK, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Falkland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Spain, Brazil, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA and Alberta Region of Canada. 

  • An import permit will be issued at the time of arrival.

Whenever you travel to any foreign country, it is always advisable to carry some form of identification indicating ownership of the pet.

If these regulations not properly fulfilled will mean that your pet will be refused entry or returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine, all at the expense of the person responsible for your pet.


Through isolation and quarantine we can reduce the chance of many diseases. So that, we can save billions of rupees annually spending on medication and vaccination. When disease is not present then the expenses are also reduced which increase our profit and productivity of animals.

Improve our export and in turn uplift the livestock business that result in improve GDP of country. This will lead our country to move on progress path.

Iqra Shehzadi