Not so fan­tas­tic

Sporting Gun - - Letters -

I read a lot in the press about foxes spread­ing dis­eases to dogs. It’s all just another at­tempt at de­mon­is­ing them, isn’t it?

Neil says: Un­palat­able though it is to many, the ur­ban­i­sa­tion of foxes has done lit­tle for them or for us. I am sure they are in­volved in more road traf­fic col­li­sions, have a poorer diet and, yes, carry dis­ease. Set­ting aside fleas, tape­worms and sar­cop­tic mange, there is in­creas­ing ev­i­dence that they are, in part at least, re­spon­si­ble for the spread of the lung­worm, An­giostrongy­lus va­so­rum. In­deed, the aptly named Mark Fox, who is pro­fes­sor of vet­eri­nary par­a­sitol­ogy at the Royal Vet­eri­nary Col­lege, con­ducted a one-year study of the worm in foxes. The re­sults were not favourable. There was a high over­all preva­lence of in­fec­tion of 74 per cent and Pro­fes­sor Fox con­cluded this could com­pro­mise the con­trol of An­giostrongy­lus in dogs. In my opin­ion, any dogs that are in reg­u­lar con­tact with foxes should re­ceive monthly an­thelmintic treat­ment.

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