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March 17, 1989

Attack Ferrets?-Reply

JAMA. 1989;261(11):1584. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420110057021

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In Reply. —  We have two comments regarding Ms Childs' letter.First, household pets and children are routinely in contact with each other. It is impossible to supervise their interactions constantly. The aspect of ferret behavior of most concern is the unpredictability and unprovoked nature of many of the reported attacks. We are not aware of horses biting infants asleep in their cribs. There is no question that injuries to children from other animals are much more common; many of these could be anticipated and prevented by proper supervision. Many of the reported severe ferret injuries, however, could be prevented only by keeping the animal caged whenever there was an infant in the home.Second, until an effective vaccine is available, we support the current recommendations regarding rabies control in ferrets.