Guarding against tapeworm

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is appealing for fox carcasses to help in its monitoring work to guard against the introduction of the fox tapeworm Echinoccocus multilocularis into Britain. This parasite is widespread in continental Europe and fulfils its life cycle through rodents and carnivores and back to rodents again, however, it can prove fatal to humans if left untreated. As with rabies, human infection is rare, but fieldworkers and those who handle wildlife face the highest risk. If E. multilocularis did become established in Britain, it would change many working practices, including your relationship with your dog, and even blackberry-picking, so this monitoring work is well worth supporting.

APHA need to examine foxes, fresh or frozen, from all parts of Britain. Collection can be arranged anywhere in England and Wales to collect upwards of two foxes. Please contact Tim Glover on 07713 145682 or by email tim.glover@apha.gsi.gov.uk. Foxes need to be individually bagged and labelled to indicate where they were shot.

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