Pets: Disease Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the number of invasive insect species in the UK as a result of the removal of compulsory tick treatment for pets at UK border; and whether there are any plans to reintroduce the tick treatment policy.

Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We do not hold the data requested for the number of invasive insect species in the UK as a result of the removal of compulsory tick treatment for pets at the UK border.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the UK for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years, and imported rescue dogs have been demonstrated to be a higher risk for carrying ticks or being infected with tick-borne diseases. For these reasons, Defra strongly encourages pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling abroad. Further advice can be obtained from their local vet, and via the Public Health England (PHE) leaflet available on GOV.UK.

Whilst Defra has no immediate plans to amend the tick controls for pet animals entering the United Kingdom, we remain concerned about the threat of ticks and tick-borne disease. As such, a risk assessment is being planned to guide future policy and Defra continues to monitor the disease situation through the Tick Surveillance Scheme.

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