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Letter: Dog owners must take responsibility over neospora



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SIR – What a disappointing response from the New Forest Dog Owners Group (A&T, 11th March). I would urge all dog owners, especially raw-diet feeders, to discuss neospora caninum with their vet.

It has never been disputed that foxes carry and spread neospora. Unfortunately dogs are also a host to neospora and, once infected, it is with them for life although it rarely affects them.

It is important to understand that dogs shed neospora ova in their faeces, depositing it in the environment. Once infected through grazing contaminated land, a cow also has it for life and it causes abortion.

"Before venturing out on to the Forest encourage your dog to defecate at home"
"Before venturing out on to the Forest encourage your dog to defecate at home"

An infected cow only sheds neospora via the aborted foetus and foetal material, bringing to an end her breeding career.

We can all make simple changes. Before venturing out on to the Forest encourage your dog to defecate at home where it is easily dealt with.

Buy only deep-frozen pet food that has been prepared to be eaten raw (human grade meat is not intended to be eaten raw).

Keep your dog in sight and do not let it scavenge.

We cannot do anything about the foxes but we can all help with this. Picking up behind our dogs will make the Forest a safer and more pleasant place for others.

Fiona Gover,
Mockbeggar



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