The Companion Vector-Borne Diseases (CVBD) World Forum is a working group of leading international experts who meet annually to evaluate current scientific findings and future trends concerning the distribution, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis and prevention of vector-borne infections of dogs and cats. At the 14th Symposium of the CVBD World Forum in Trieste, Italy (March 25–28, 2019), we identified the need to (i) bring attention to the potential spread of parasites and vectors with relocated dogs, and (ii) provide advice to the veterinary profession regarding the importance of surveillance and treatment for parasites and vector-borne infections when rehoming dogs. This letter shares a consensus statement from the CVBD World Forum as well as a summary of the problem faced, including the role of veterinary professionals in parasite surveillance, causal issues, and the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing the problem. To limit opportunities for dissemination of parasites and vectors, whenever possible, underlying problems creating the need for dog rehoming should be addressed. However, when it is necessary to rehome dogs, this should ideally take place in the country and national region of origin. When geographically distant relocation occurs, veterinary professionals have a vital role to play in public education, vigilance for detection of exotic vectors and infections, and alerting the medical community to the risk(s) for pathogen spread. With appropriate veterinary intervention, dog welfare needs can be met without inadvertently allowing global spread of parasites and their vectors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial aid for projects associated with canine welfare supported by governments and by international charities is helpful in tackling canine welfare issues in countries of origin . This funding, together with increased policing of existing animal welfare laws, is important for implementation of these measures, but it is critically important to be sensitive to accepted norms in different cultures . Engagement of dog rescue organisations is also beneficial for promotion of rehoming of dogs in their region of origin and, wherever possible, to encourage them to relax their requirements for rehoming where welfare will not be compromised as a result. If rehoming requirements are too stringent, this may deter potential owners from adopting dogs from within their own country. The members of the CVBD World Forum pledge their support to continue to provide data and evidence-based advice on reducing parasites and vector-borne pathogens spread through provision of information on optimal testing, preventative treatments, and increased veterinary and public education.
FD-T received a research fellowship from CNPq (Bolsa de Produtividade; grant no. 313118/2018-3). FK is working in a project funded by Bayer Animal Health (TransMIT; Z 2079), which is now part of Elanco, at TransMIT GmbH, Germany. CM has the support of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior (Investigator Starting Grant IF/01302/2015). Acknowledgements
© 2020, The Author(s).
- Animal welfare