Latest News

24/10/17. Pet Travel Survey

The pet travel survey carried out by parasitologists at Bristol and Belfast Universities is almost complete. If you have taken your pet abroad please fill out the survey at this link and share it with clients and colleagues.

This data will provide vital insight into where people are taking their pets abroad and for how long. The plan is then to compare this data with parasite distributions across Europe to establish which pet owner demographics are at greatest risk, and the parasites they are most likely to be exposed to.

The prevalence of gastrointestinal and cardio-respiratory parasites in stray dogs and cats in Ireland

Cormac PowerIn September over 130 students, including 16 from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, presented their summer research posters as part of the Student Summer Research Awards. Included in this was a poster presentation by Cormac Power, on his project on "Prevalence of gastrointestinal and cardio-respiratory parasites in stray dogs & cats in Ireland" that was funded by ESCCAP UK & Ireland.

Of particular note from the results of the study was the high prevalence of Toxocara cati (32%) compared to T.canis (6%), adding to evidence that cats, particularly stray cats are significant contributors of Toxocara ova in the environment with zoonotic potential. Aelurostrongylus was also found in the stray cat population, suggesting it is endemic with the potential for domestic cat exposure.

Updated Bristol Tick ID website launched

The University of Bristol tick ID website has now been updated in association with ESCCAP UK & Ireland

This is a fantastic resource to aid with tick identification which is so vital both for tick surveillance and to help establish which tick-borne diseases pets, owners and the wider public may have been exposed to.

Four pillars advice for imported pets and deworming frequency summary launched

Two new downloads are now available on the ESCCAP UK & Ireland resources page. The "Four pillars" download summarises the key parasite control points when dealing with dogs imported into the UK. The "Deworming frequency" page offers a summary of factors to consider when deciding which worms to treat cats and dogs for in the UK and how often.

11/07/17 - Parasite Forecast: Issue 2

The second edition of ESCCAP UK & Ireland's quarterly Parasite Forecasts is now available to download. This edition outlines the changing parasite activity over the past three months and forecasts which parasites may present an increased risk in the subsequent three months. Also included:

  • An analysis of the topics which ESCCAP UK & Ireland has received enquiries about
  • A case report about an unusual case of lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) in a Cockapoo from the West Midlands
  • ESCCAP UK & Ireland's latest news

Click here for the PDF

16/06/17 - Important data from SAVSNET highlighting the high risk months for fly strike in rabbits

Lucilia green bottles that are the most common cause of fly strike in the UK, like warm, low wind conditions and the weather forecast suggests the next two weeks will provide these. This in combination with June - September having been highlighted as the months of highest fly strike incidence means that rabbit owners need to be particularly aware of the risks.

14/04/17 - Great Pet Travel Survey 2017

Eric Morgan and the University of Bristol are doing important survey work to find out where UK pet owners are travelling abroad with their pets and for how long

Currently there is very little data to suggest where people are taking their pets and potential contact with parasites not currently endemic in the UK. Please help by completing the survey and passing it on to colleagues and clients. The more people respond, the more reliable the data will be which is vital in assessing potential exotic disease risk to the UK and aiding surveillance.

05/04/17 - Spring Parasite Forecast

ESCCAP UK & Ireland are publishing quarterly parasite forecasts which will outline the changing parasite activity over the previous three months and forecast which parasites may present an increased risk in the subsequent three months. Each publication will include:

  • The parasite forecast
  • An analysis of the topics which ESCCAP UK & Ireland has received enquiries about
  • A sample case report outlining a particular parasite or risk
  • ESCCAP UK & Ireland's latest news

This issue presents the spring parasite forecast and takes a look at a case report of leishmaniosis in a Boxer dog from Italy. Click here for the PDF

22/02/17 - Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) infection in dogs: reliable information to help practitioners

Veterinary Prescriber, the leading source of independent information on veterinary medicines, has published a module giving a concise and impartial presentation of the facts about lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) infection in dogs. Just as importantly, the module highlights what is not known.

Andrea Tarr, Veterinary Prescriber's founder said: "the unique module is balanced, clear and concise and gives veterinary surgeons the information they need to be able to advise clients confidently about the risks of A. vasorum and make informed decisions about the management of the disease in individual dogs." The module is available only at:

A. vasorum infection in dogs is a hot topic at the moment. The disease is potentially fatal and difficult to diagnose. It arouses fear (which may have been enhanced by a very emotive publicity campaign). There is also quite a bit of confusion as a result of incomplete information (e.g. about prevalence, mortality rate) and different opinions on how often dogs should be wormed.

Most practitioners don't have the time to read and keep up to date on all the latest research on lungworm.

Veterinary Prescriber's editorial process ensures that the information is impartial, thoroughly researched and checked. For the module on lungworm, we commissioned a specialist (Dr. Hany Elsheikha, Associate Professor and European diplomate in veterinary parasitology, University of Nottingham) to summarise current knowledge about the management of canine lungworm, ensuring that questions important to veterinary practitioners were addressed.


ESCCAP UK & Ireland presented at A parliamentary reception organised by Robert Buckland MP, Huw Edwards and Improve International which has led to an early day motion being tabled at the house of commons. This is a unique opportunity to get UK biosecurity, the role of OVs and the skill gap that might be created by Brexit debated but will only happen if enough MPs sign it. Please publicise this and contact MPs with ties or previous associations to the Vet profession so we can gain more signatories and have these vital issues raised in parliament.

17/11/16 - Product defect alert:

Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs and Armitage Flea Drops for Cats and Kittens: Product defect alert - News stories - GOV.UK

Product defect recall alert for Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs and Armitage Flea Drops for Cats & Kittens manufactured by Bio-Tech Solutions Ltd.

17/08/16 - ESCCAP UK & Ireland tick and tick borne disease advice consensus statement

ESCCAP UK & Ireland in cooperation with organisations and individuals from across the Veterinary industry have produced a consensus statement regarding tick and tick borne disease prevention. These clear simple guidelines for vets and members of the public are independently written by ESCCAP UK & Ireland with input from Veterinary professionals, parasitology specialists and industry to provide a first important step in giving consistent advice on this vital subject across the profession. » Click here

The consensus statement is currently supported by the following individuals and organisations and is an open and expanding list.

NOAH have added their support which is a significant step in a cross industry approach to tick control

Dogs Trust
NOAH (National Office of Animal Health)
Dr G Ravetz (BVA and Denplan)
Dr C Reay (Blue Cross)
Dr S Keyte (University of Bristol)
Dr A Threlfall (Davies Veterinary Specialists)
Dr S Tappin (Dick White Referrals)
Prof H Elsheikha (University of Nottingham)
Prof M Betson (University of Surrey)
Dr A Vawer (Downland Veterinary Group)
Dr A Radford (SAVSNet)
Dr J Tulloch (University of Liverpool)
Dr S Bignall
Dr K Murphy (Highcroft Veterinary Referrals)
Dr N Morris (Malthouse Vterinary Surgery)
Prof R Wall (University of Bristol)
Dr S Pearson (Lyme Disease Action)
Dr P Sands (Scarsdale Veterinary Group)
Dr Ian Hopkins (Willows Veterinary Group)

ESCCAP Recommendations

ESCCAP has launched a new recommendations document that can be used as a poster or leaflet in practice with general recommendations for parasite control in cats and dogs: click here!

Anti-dog fouling campaigns and meat condemnation

There are five parasites for which canines are definitive hosts and which are a significant source of economic impact for the cattle and sheep market in the British Isles. Dogs infected with these parasites shed infective stages which, when consumed by sheep and cattle, lead to cyst formation. Therefore, these parasites should be considered when discussing the need for anti-dog fouling measures in relation to reducing adverse economic impact. To read about these parasites in full, click here!

Brexit or Bremain, ESCCAP UK & Ireland's position remains the same

Despite the UK voting to leave the EU, ESCCAP UK & Ireland still passionately believes in the need for European wide cooperation to control the spread of parasitic disease. Rules associated with the pet passport scheme are only one of a wide number of measures required to reduce the risk of exotic diseases and vectors entering the UK and becoming established. Even if compulsory tick treatments or even quarantine were reintroduced, illegal movement of pets into the country will continue, pets will continue to be imported, people will continue to move in and out of the UK, potentially bringing vectors with them, and novel parasitic disease will move ever closer to our shores. Only by close cooperation with European agencies, drug companies and UK bodies such as PHE and APHA can we possibly hope to monitor these pathogens, reduce their spread and remain vigilant to their introduction to the UK. Such cooperation will also be vital in helping to renegotiate pet movement rules based on sound epidemiological data and risk, rather than snap political judgements. ESCCAP UK & Ireland will continue to maintain close ties with its fellow ESCCAP national organisations across Europe, as well as parasitologists and public health bodies. In doing so we will continue to combat parasitic disease and be an up to date source of information for Vets across the UK and Europe, seeking to keep their clients, pets and the UK as safe as possible from parasitic disease.

Vector-borne Diseases 2016

ESCCAP VBD 2016: 19-20 October 2016

The European Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) is to host a major European science conference in Granada, Spain from 19-20th October 2016 at the SEVC conference, Palacio de Congresos de Granada.

This ESCCAP meeting will concentrate on the problems presented by emerging zoonotic vector-borne diseases in Europe. Highly-recognised experts and representatives of active research groups will provide updates from the field and this focused scientific meeting will bring together researchers of different areas to discuss common solutions in the frame of a one-health concept.

In addition to guest speaker presentations, the scientific committee will accept abstracts for further oral proceedings and also poster submissions. More information about the event can be found on ESCCAP's dedicated events website at

CPD: Tracking and Treating UK Parasites

Nottingham Vet School supported by ESCCAP UK & Ireland on the 19th of May is hosting a parasitology day for those involved in parasite control advice and diagnostics in Companion animal practice. It will include.

  • Lectures from parasitologists and clinicians giving a broad view of Parasites affecting Companion Animals . 
  • Accessible venues with good conference and catering facilities. 
  • Refreshments, lunch and notes from only £50+VAT  
  • Practical sessions, making for an informative and clinically relevant day.

For more information go to

It is important to remain up to date with the different parasitic challenges which we face in the UK and Ireland. Seasonal activities impact on the parasitic threats posed to companion animals throughout the year and changes to legislation, climate and new discoveries can all affect how we should be protecting our pet and family from companion animal parasites. The articles below are designed to keep you up to date with these current issues:

Tick , Lice and Flea Vector Borne Disease Study

Prof. Cutler is collecting fleas ticks and lice from pets across the country to look for Vector borne diseases by PCR. This will help build up a picture of the pathogens they are carrying, an area where many knowledge gaps exist! Ectoparasites of pets can harbour a variety of pathogens such as Bartonella spp and Borrelia spp which are capable of causing disease in people as well our pets. This makes documentation of their distribution across the UK vital and although tick surveys by Merial and MSD, as well as excellent work by Richard Birtles on ticks in the Lake district have been carried out, knowledge of the distribution of UK flea and lice borne pathogens is minimal. Please help by sending samples to. Sally J. Cutler Professor of Medical Microbiology, School of Health, Sport & Bioscience, University of East London, Water Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4LZ. Samples can be sent by Royal mail with the species and approximate age of host plus county of origin on the sample pots. For more information please contact Sally directly or ESCCAP UK & Ireland.

Travel rules are changing...

Most of us should now be well accustomed to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) regulations that came into force in the UK on 1 January 2012. But many people may not yet realise that further amendments to these regulations are set to come into effect on 29th December 2014.


On 29th December 2014, the EU are introducing new pet travel regulations (576/2013) which are designed to consolidate existing EU regulations, improve the security of the pet passport and assist with the enforcement of the rules.

The primary requirement of the scheme, as detailed in the pet travel section, will remain the same, but there will be other big changes:

  • A new style pet passport will be introduced with additional security and tracking features, such as laminated strips to prevent tampering of entries and details of the person issuing the passport. This new passport will state the date from which a pet may travel following their rabies vaccination. Any passport issued before 29th December 2014 will remain valid for the life of the pet, or until it is full.
  • A person implanting microchips will be required to meet a minimum level of qualifications - don’t worry, vets and vet nurses will not require any further training.
  • EU wide checks. At present there are very few checks carried out by authorities for pets travelling across road borders on mainland Europe.
  • A 12 week minimum age for rabies vaccination will be introduced to simplify checks. At present, the same vaccine may by licensed for administration at different ages in different EU countries. The new 12 week rule will avoid needing to check compliance rules for each country.
  • Owners can travel with more than five pets under the EU Pet Travel Scheme providing they registered to attend a show, competition, sporting event or training for such an event. Otherwise, any pet owner wanting to travel with more than five pets will need to comply with additional import rules.
  • Clearer definition of ‘non-commercial movement’ of pets will enable owners to travel within five days of their pet when travelling by air from outside the EU.
  • will cap quarantine periods at six months and will allow pets to be released from quarantine after this period.
  • Clearer definitions of what constitutes a dog, cat and ferret to prevent the travel of wild animals under the Pet Travel Scheme.



Full details on the upcoming changes are available to read on the GOV.UK website.