RSPCA accused of scaremongering over rabies.

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RSPCA accused of scaremongering over rabies.

Post  Admin on Sun May 25, 2014 12:43 pm


The RSPCA is being accused of scaremongering over the threat of rabies in Britain.


The charity is “talking up” the risk and threatening to cause a “public panic”, according to Alick Simmons, the Government’s deputy chief vet.


His intervention came after the RSPCA claimed the relaxation of rules on the importing of dogs had caused a “real threat to both human and animal health”, with “ticking time bombs waiting to go off all over the UK”.


A report issued by the charity claimed that the changes had resulted in a “60-fold increase” in the risk of rabies arriving in the country. However, a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: “To put this into perspective, this represents the chance of one rabies case in pets entering the UK in every 211 years.”


Addressing vets, officials and RSPCA representatives at a conference, Mr Simmons said there were “many errors” in the charity’s report.
He added: “I think it’s irresponsible on a number of people’s parts, in particular the RSPCA for conflating your ethical dislike of the trade in pets with disease risk.

“If we all go around talking up this disease risk, which is extremely low, we will end up with a public panic on our hands and the veterinary profession and RSPCA will be to blame.”

The RSPCA’s report, published in March, was critical of Britain’s decision to scrap the requirement for dogs from certain countries to go into quarantine when they first arrive in the UK. Under rules introduced in the 19th century to combat rabies, imported dogs or cats had to be quarantined for six months.

The rules were relaxed in January 2012 to bring the UK into line with other European countries. The change meant that pets from the European Union and other listed countries, including the US and Australia, did not need to be quarantined, and could arrive 21 days after a rabies vaccine.

At the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s congress last month, Mr Simmons intervened after Joe Moran, the RSPCA’s European parliamentary advisor, said the Government “woefully miscalculated” the increased risk of rabies that the changes would prompt, according to a report in the Veterinary Times.

“It [the Government] openly admitted the changes increased rabies risk; however, its study actually showed it was a 60-fold increase,” Mr Moran said.

“As soon as controls were relaxed, the number of dogs entering the country from outside the UK went up by 82 per cent within the first year.

“Rabies is present in some of these countries and widespread puppy farming is also known to be common.

“This means there is a real threat to both human and animal health – we’ve essentially got ticking time bombs waiting to go off all over the UK.”

David Bowles, the RSPCA’s head of public affairs, said the charity’s warning about rabies was based on a government study. “Defra cannot ignore the problem,” he added.

A Defra spokesman said: “The risk of a pet infected with rabies entering the UK remains very low … We will continue to operate a robust checking regime for every animal entering the UK under the pet travel scheme to maintain our rabies-free status.”
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Post  Trilby Bee on Tue May 27, 2014 8:39 am

Horses dying of starvation after being tied up on a patio and the RSPCA prefers to spend its donated money on this?? There is an effective rabies shot for people who consider themselves at risk (in the highly unlikely event of being bitten by a rabid RSPCA inspector). I'd like to know what this little survey cost and how many cats could have been treated with the money. They do seem to get it wrong every time. Evil or Very Mad 
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Re: RSPCA accused of scaremongering over rabies.

Post  Admin on Tue May 27, 2014 5:32 pm

(in the highly unlikely event of being bitten by a rabid RSPCA inspector).  lol! 
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