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20 October 2016

Vet Practice Support of the Big Tick Project Raises Awareness of Ticks
National coverage inspires vets and pet owners

London, 20 October, 2016 – The recent national and regional coverage of Tick Awareness Month, together with the support of vet practices around the UK meant the campaign was a huge success. Issues surrounding ticks and tick-borne diseases in dogs were discussed at the start of the month, raising awareness and prompting vets and pet owners to start a dialogue. MSD Animal Health and Bristol University, creators of the Big Tick Project were inundated with interest from both the media, vet practices and pet owners. The Big Tick Project for cats is now underway and vets have until the end of October to send in their ticks.

Amanda Melvin, Brand Manager at MSD Animal Health added: “It was hard to miss what was almost blanket coverage at the launch of Tick Awareness Month. The Big Tick Project appeared on the Radio Four Today programme, BBC Radio 1, 2 and 5, BBC TV Breakfast, BBC TV News, Good Morning Britain, ITV News and Channel 5 news, to name just a few. Chris Packham and Professor Richard Wall managed the interviews between them and did an amazing job of getting the vital tick message across. It is a project the team at MSD Animal Health is extremely proud to be leading.”

The Big Tick Project was set up by MSD Animal Health, led by Professor Richard Wall and aimed to develop a greater understanding of the perceived rise in the risks to dogs and people from ticks and the pathogens they carry. Over 1,400 veterinary practices collected more than 6,000 ticks for the Big Tick Project (BTP) from dogs last year, contributing to the largest-ever study of dogs in Britain, if not worldwide. MSD Animal Health, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, is now tackling cat ticks, and is asking vets to get collecting. The study aims to increase understanding of and improve education on the risk of ticks and tick-borne diseases in Britain amongst cat owners. The data collected from the contributions will be used in a scientific paper which will help vets make informed recommendations to cat owners, and help keep their pets safe.

For further information go to: www.bigtickproject.co.uk.