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Rise in heartworm cases prompts warning
‘Veterinary professionals need to be vigilant for exotic parasites entering the UK in imported dogs.'

Number of infected imported dogs ‘likely to increase’

A reported rise in enquiries about heartworm in dogs has prompted a warning about rescue dogs being imported to the UK.

ESCCAP UK & Ireland says there have been five heartworm cases in the past four weeks, not just in dogs from endemic countries in Europe, but also the US, Mauritius and Brazil.

Head of ESCCAP Ian Wright said veterinary professionals should be vigilant for exotic parasites in imported animals.

He explained: ’The increased numbers of dogs imported from Southern and Eastern Europe combined with the parasite spreading through Eastern Europe means that numbers of positive imported dogs are only likely to increase over the coming months and years.

‘Veterinary professionals need to be vigilant for exotic parasites entering the UK in imported dogs. This spike in heartworm cases is another example of the wide range of pathogens that might be encountered and the increasing risk to individual pets and owners as well as wider UK biosecurity as a result.’ 

Concerns over imported disease have been growing since the Pet Travel Scheme rules were relaxed in 2012.

Cases of imported disease over the past two years include babesiosis, canine ocular thelaziosis, tongue worm and Brucella canis. In March this year, there was also a confirmed case of leishmaniasis in an untravelled dog, which is thought to have contracted the disease from an imported dog.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.