We are not stranger to the term “quarantine”, especially during pandemic times like this. The government urges people to self-quarantine in order to prevent transmission of infectious diseases. The term quarantine has become so common for people across all ages, to indicate humans with infectious diseases, for example the infamous COVID-19. On the other side, what about animals? If animals are quarantined, does that mean they are infected with COVID-19? Hm… not necessarily, believe it or not.
What we need to understand is that quarantine is a procedure that can be carried out to all living beings such as humans, animals, and even plants. Regulations on quarantine for animals and plants are elaborated in the Regulation No. 12 of 2019 concerning Fish and Plant Animal Quarantine. Therefore, when animals and plants are quarantined, it is not strictly because of the COVID-19.
Then came another question: why do animals need to be quarantined?
Quarantine procedures are most commonly carried out in conservation centers and Agricultural Quarantine Center (BKP). Animals in conservation centers are usually quarantined upon arrival of a new resident, usually from the wild, rescues, or handover from locals. In particular, quarantine procedures at Agricultural Quarantine Center are to be carried out on animals, plants, and others that will enter or exit the site, either from within or outside the country.
The purpose of quarantine is to prevent the entry, the exit, and the spread of infectious disease, in which humans, animals, and plants are potential carriers.
PSO-ARSARI is one of those conservation centers with an established quarantine procedure. The orangutans that have been successfully returned to Kalimantan and are under PSO-ARSARI’s care will first undergo quarantine procedure in the provided quarantine cages. This is also to prevent possible transmission of infectious diseases from outside PSO-ARSARI. During quarantine, animals are observed and also subjected to health checkups to ensure that they are in good health with minimal risks of transmitting a disease. This quarantine process is also an opportunity for the new resident to adapt to their new home.
And so, it is clear now that quarantine is not something only for humans. We hope that this can give new beneficial insight on how we understand the world.