A number of foxhounds at a kennels in Buckinghamshire have been euthanised after contracting bTB.

Foxhounds
The BVA said M.bovis infections in dogs have rarely been recorded while the risk of infection to other dogs and family pets is “very low”. Image by South Wold Hunt (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Dogs at the Kimblewick Hunt’s kennels were suspected of having the disease in December and the outbreak was confirmed a month later by animal health officials.

The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA), the fox hunting governing body, said the hunt immediately suspended its activities to protect farmers and landowners.

Investigation

An investigation is being carried out by the APHA to find the origin of the infection.

It has already carried out postmortem examinations on three dogs, all of which were found to have the bacterium that causes bTB, and offered advice to the kennels on how to manage the outbreak.

Options included further testing to identify all infected animals, treatment – which is not recommended – and euthanasia.

An APHA spokesman said: “The bacterium that causes bTB in cattle has been found in dogs at a kennel in Buckinghamshire.

“The origin and route of this infection is being investigated. Dogs are not considered to play a significant role in onward transmission of bTB.”

Low risk

BVA president Gudrun Ravetz added: “Mycobacterium bovis infections in dogs have rarely been recorded and the risk of infection to other dogs and family pets is very low.”

A statement on the MFHA website said: “Defra has not imposed any movement or other restrictions, as it does not consider there is any increased risk to wildlife and farm stock. However, the hunt immediately suspended hunting in the interests of farmers and landowners, and the wider hunting interest.

“There is only one recently recorded case of a dog with bTB in England, some four years ago.”

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Clued-Up
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Clued-Up
22 days 4 hours ago
Not a vet but surely it’s pretty obvious how these hounds became infected with bTB? Hounds are usually fed with fallen stock (eg calves); they eat raw meat so the bTB bug won’t have been destroyed by cooking. I’d very much doubt whether hunts check beforehand whether the farms offering them fallen stock have had recent bTB reactors in their herds. Clearly they should. Hunts should also restrict themselves to drag hunting – following an artificial trail (NOT fox urine) – over land that’s never grazed or fertilised by cattle. It’s in livestock farmers’ interests to keep the hunts off… Read more »
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