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  • Writer's pictureKaty Stanlake

Preventing neospora

With the advent of the Easter holidays comes the potential for an increase in visitors walking with their dogs on your land. Not just tourists but locals too - and we're all guilty of it - we're not picking up dog poo.

Sadly even many of us who have lived in the countryside for years may not be aware of the importance of picking up on footpaths or in a field grazed by livestock. Although it is widely known that dog faeces are one of the most common carriers of diseases and parasites such as parvo and roundworm, which can be transmitted to humans, many may not have heard of the horrendous disease which causes bovine abortions called Neospora.

Dog faeces can carry the protozoa Neospora caninum, which may contaminate bedding or forage. This contamination can lead to livestock being infected with Neospora, which probably causes over 10% of abortions in cattle in the UK. A cow which has aborted a calf due to Neospora is infected for life, as will any viable calves. Plus any dog which goes onto the land is also at risk of being exposed to Neospora and therefore becoming a carrier and can potentially infect other herds.

Financial modelling predicts the cost of Neospora in an average 121 cow dairy herd to be about £3,000 per year!

Ask Penbode Farm Vets for a free sign to put up on your land to encourage dog owners to act responsibly and to pick up their dog's mess.

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