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Pet diseases need to be monitored

Wednesday November 14th 2012

A global system is needed to monitor infectious diseases affecting pet dogs and cats in order to help protect their owners from illness, according to researchers.

It is well known that most major new infectious diseases in humans have an animal origin. However, international health agencies only monitor disease transfer between humans and livestock, and not those from pet cats and dogs.

A new study, published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, lists key infectious diseases in dogs and cats that can infect man.

Michael Day, Professor of Veterinary Pathology in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, who led the study, said that although the benefits of pet ownership were " unquestionable", the risk from diseases has spread as dogs and cats have moved into the home.

Prof Day said: "In developed countries the relationship between man and dogs and cats has deepened, with these animals now closely sharing the human indoor environment."

He added: "Control of diseases among dogs and cats is a good way to prevent spread to humans."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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