Vets invited to be part of something big with the Bravecto® Big Tick Project

Chris-Packham-with-Itchy-and-Scratchy There is evidence that ticks are active earlier in the year and feeding for longer1 – increasing their potential to transmit pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi , the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease, a significant threat to both animals and humans.  Yet most people are unaware of the risks. The Big Tick Project, run by the University of Bristol in collaboration with MSD Animal Health gives veterinary practices the chance to play their part in advancing the understanding of tick-borne disease in the UK. A national campaign supported by TV presenter Chris Packham aims to highlight the problem amongst dog owners through a series of high profile media events. Sign up is free by sending practice details to info@bigtickproject.co.uk.

Practices taking part in the study will receive a tick collection kit and marketing support pack including access to dedicated PR services, to raise awareness of ticks within their clinic and local community. The kit includes full instructions, collection equipment and freepost packaging to allow ticks removed from dogs to be sent to the University of Bristol quickly and easily.

The Big Tick Project is being supported by naturalist and dog lover Chris Packham, who is taking part in a nationwide awareness campaign, launching in April 2015.  The planned national press coverage aims to raise dog owners’ understanding of the risks associated with ticks, and visit their veterinary surgeon for further information on how the problem can be addressed.

Professor Richard Wall from University of Bristol is asking practices to get behind the study, “For accurate results we need as many ticks as possible and I really encourage vet practices up and down the country to get involved. We need data from all types of practices ranging from urban to rural locations to help vets and human health professionals make more effective recommendations and help prevent tick-related disease.”

Nationally, tick distribution has expanded by 17% in the last 10 years and tick numbers have also increased in 73% of locations surveyed.1 There is evidence that ticks are feeding earlier in the year and feeding for longer2 – thus increasing their potential to pass on significant disease to both animals and humans.  Lyme disease in particular can be serious health issue for both humans and animals, being increasingly recognised and recorded in the UK recent years3.

Practices can experience the benefits of being part of the Big Tick Project and ensure their community is represented in the survey by emailing a contact name and their practice details to info@bigtickproject.co.uk, Fax: 01284 363028, Post: Big Tick Project, PO Box 730, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 9JE