26 April 2017
MSD Animal Health Joins UK Vets in Call for Reinstatement of Tick Control Programme into Pet Travel Scheme
Milton Keynes, April 26 2017 – In support of Tick Awareness Month, May 2017, MSD Animal Health is joining forces with vets across the UK to call on the Government to get a comprehensive tick control programme reinstated into the Pet Travel Scheme. The Tick Awareness Month campaign aims to highlight the need to use treatments against ticks to protect the health of pets and their owners. Vets that agree that this campaign is important, can get involved by writing to their local parliamentary candidates explaining why introducing tick control for dogs before, during and after travel abroad is so important. A sample letter is available on the Big Tick Project website (www.bigtickproject.co.uk).
Amanda Melvin, Marketing Manager at MSD Animal Health adds: “With an election looming we want protecting UK pets and borders against non-native ticks to be on the agenda for the new Government team at DEFRA as after June 8th they start to reshape animal health policy in the UK in the build up to BREXIT. If you agree that this campaign is important, during Tick Awareness Month you can get involved by writing to your local parliamentary candidates explaining why introducing tick control for dogs before, during and after travel abroad is so important.”
Tick-borne disease, such as Lyme Disease and Canine Babesiosis, can have a devastating effect on pets and humans. During Tick Awareness Month MSD Animal Health will also be urging pet owners to write to their local parliamentary candidates in the UK. Furthermore, MSD Animal Health will be encouraging them to talk to their vets about effective treatment against ticks for their animals so that trips abroad with pets stay safe and UK dogs are not exposed to the risk of imported tick-borne disease. MSD Animal Health is asking UK vets to support the campaign for tick protection to ensure it is given prior, during and after travel to minimise risk. This could be achieved with repeated monthly doses of protection, with chews providing 12 weeks protection or collars.
Why it’s so important
Ticks travel on dogs so it is not just dogs travelling that can be affected – they can bring ticks back which can then feed on dogs that have never set a paw outside the UK. Last year the first confirmed cases in the UK of Babesia canis (1) in dogs that had not travelled abroad. It is suspected that the disease entered the UK carried on ticks from dogs imported from Central, Southern or Eastern Europe where the disease is rife. At least one dog died in the outbreak in Essex and there is concern that further cases will be seen.
For further information vets can visit www.bigtickproject.co.uk.
1 In March 2016, a colony of Dermacentor reticulatus ticks, known as the ornate dog tick was found in Harlow, Essex. For the first time in the UK, at least four dogs who had never travelled outside the country, contracted Canine Babesiosis with a fatal outcome in at least one case.