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Laura Stokes, Ian Wright
The Veterinary Nurse, Vol. 8, Iss. 2, 24 Mar 2017, pp 74 - 83

Increased pet travel, human migration and climate change are leading to the rapid spread of parasitic diseases and their vectors. This, in turn, increases the risk of pets and their owners encountering these agents while abroad and bringing them back to the UK. In addition, legal and illegal imports of dogs from continental Europe are also increasing the likelihood of novel parasites being introduced. Some of these, such as Leishmania infantum, are unlikely to establish as the UK neither possesses their vectors nor has ideal conditions for their establishment. Mosquitoes, fruit flies and ticks, however, are already common across the British Isles and can transmit a number of parasites with veterinary and zoonotic significance. The fluid nature of parasite distributions means that an increasing range of parasites need to be considered and general principals in control and biosecurity implemented. Veterinary nurses are key players in the fight to keep exotic diseases out of the UK. This article considers some of the control measures required to protect the UK and its pets as well as some of the more novel parasites that have entered the UK in travelled and imported pets.

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