Although many people may view the Pets
Passport Scheme, as something that was long overdue, I would like to add a
warning, and urge people to think very carefully before taking dogs
abroad on holiday with them. Even if thinking of bringing dogs
to live here in the UK from overseas, please test and test again. Take all
the advice available - but please be careful.
If not for what this Government did regarding foot
and mouth i.e. the slaughter of millions of healthy animals, alarm bells would
not be ringing in my head. I love dogs, I hate to see them suffer,(in any
Country) but I would also hate to see our own dogs here in the UK suffer
needlessly and end up being destroyed.
We are lucky here in the UK, we do not have any
real life threatening viruses or diseases, that can cross from man to
dog. Most of the viruses here etc in dogs, can
be prevented. It is only our own ignorance that stops and
prevents dogs dying here in the UK. Sadly, this is simply not the
case in many other Countries.
Dogs that come into the UK, whether from holiday or
other reasons are bringing diseases in. These diseases are spreading to
other dogs (that have never been out of the Country). True these cases are
rare at the moment (but they do exist) Probably, because many Vets
are not clued up, and are not aware of what to look for. This will/is
changing. One such disease Leishmaniasis is transmitted by the female Sandfly. It is
endemic in many parts of the World. The dog acting as the main reservoir.
It can be passed from dog to human (so is classed as a zoonose) people with
suppressed immune systems are at risk, they also suggest dogs with this disease
should not be around small children. It is not part of the passport for
pets scheme, neither is it illegal to bring a dog into this Country that
already has it. Leishmanisis or Kala-azar as it is referred to in the dog form, is a very vague
disease. It can take anything from 3 months to several years to manifest
and show itself. At the moment there is NO vaccine for man or dog. The drugs do
not cure the dog, or remove the infection risk. At best the animal is kept in
remission. In endemic Countries they some 40% of all dogs have it - 4 in
I have over the past weeks been speaking to several
of the Veterinary Tropical Disease Centres; As well as finding out more
information. I asked why this potentially devastating disease was NOT part of
the Pets Passport Scheme. DEFRA it would seem, are only concerned about
Human transmitted viruses/diseases i.e. rabies. Perhaps they should read
more about Leishmaniasis! Especially as there is now evidence that the
sandfly is not needed to act as the vector. Which brings me to the point of
Once upon a time I would have said we would never
kill millions of animals for a simple virus called foot and mouth. A virus
of which there is NO threat to man! Once upon a time we did not have the
Animal Health Act. We as owners of the animals still had the right and the
law on our side. Today as a result of this Act, we have
I do wonder if anything of which I write, or any of
the other many viruses and diseases ever did enter this Country and start
to spread, what would be the outcome for the dogs caught up in it? One Vet told
me that 'rabies is a low risk' some of these other diseases have the potential
to become a far greater concern and risk?
This is just a small account of the information I
have been acquiring. What I have learned does cause me concern.
I once believed that here in the UK, we were
kind and caring. That we would never kill animals out of hand, and if
anyone ever tried we as a Country would unite. Well they did kill them,
and hardly anyone batted an eyelid. Would it be any different a second
time round. Please, let us not have to put that to the test in order
to find out the answer.