A dog known to have bitten several people – including a 2-year-old child – was euthanised in Toledo, Spain after tests confirmed it had rabies.
A dog known to have bitten several people – including a 2-year-old child – has been euthanised in Toledo, Spain after tests confirmed it had rabies.
Spanish authorities have now activated their rabies contingency plan, which includes the tracing of all human and animal contacts with the affected dog and compulsory vaccinations of all dogs, cats and ferrets within 20km of the city.
Defra has published a preliminary outbreak assessment, stating the incident poses a negligible increase in risk of the introduction of rabies to the UK via a legally imported pet. The dog is thought to have contracted rabies after travelling to Morocco.
British Small Animal Veterinary Association president Michael Day said the case demonstrated the importance of owners complying with Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) legislation. He said: “Pet owners in the UK should only take their animals overseas if they are confident they comply with the requirements of the PETS.
“At the same time, veterinary surgeons should always remain vigilant for pets exhibiting clinical signs that might fit within the rabies spectrum, especially if there is a recent history of travel abroad.”
Rabies is notifiable, and any case needs reporting to a practice’s nearest Animal Health Office. The suspected animal should be kept isolated and restrained along with any other animals it had contact with.
The UK has similar contingency plans to Spain in the event of rabies entering.