The Great Pet Travel Survey 2012 has been launched to collect and analyse information about the travel patterns of UK resident dogs, in and around mainland Europe, over the last decade.

Companion Care Vets and a team from the University of Bristol have announced the launch of The Great Pet Travel Survey 2012, which will collect and analyse information about the travel patterns of UK resident dogs, in and around mainland Europe, over the last decade.

Travelling dog owners wanted for Great Pet Travel SurveyThe launch of the survey comes amid debate and wide-spread concern shared by veterinary professionals and politicians about the simplification of the Pet Travel Scheme rules for re-entry of pets into the UK.

Changes to the scheme came into force at the start of 2012 (January 1) and brought a key question to mind: what risks do these changes pose to the health of the human and dog population in the UK?

Vet Robert White-Adams from Companion Care Vets explained: “At present there is minimal data available to answer this question as current data logging is minimal and paperwork checking at ports can be variable. We therefore have little idea of how many UK-resident dogs travel abroad, where they visit, how long they stay and what they are doing while abroad.”

With this in mind, Mr White-Adams joined forces with Eric Morgan (senior lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol) to develop a questionnaire that would provide much needed data on this issue.

The Great Pet Travel Survey 2012He said: “The data to be collated by the survey will fill this data void and enable us to provide a quantitative assessment of the disease risk, as well as gaining an understanding of owner awareness of risks face by dogs travelling in Europe.”

Owners of dogs with pet passports are being encouraged to fill in the short questionnaire, which will be online until June 30, 2012. All data will be analysed by the University of Bristol.

Dr Morgan added: “Without this information we have only a vague idea of the risks that the loss of border controls may pose. The answer could be that there is little additional risk or it could be that the UK dog (and human) population could face some severe disease threats. As it stands now, we just don’t know enough to make an informed judgement.”


Suitcase image ©iStockphoto.com/Eriklam
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