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Pests
Oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea)
  1. Amanda Carson1,
  2. Richard Irvine1 and
  3. Aiden P. Foster2
  1. 1Surveillance Intelligence Unit, APHA
  2. 2Senior Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Dermatology and Pathology, University of Bristol

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THE Forestry Commission has brought to our attention reports of horses, in the Chessington area of Kingston upon Thames, with skin irritation suspected to be due to contact with caterpillars of oak processionary moths (OPM) (Fig 1). It is possible that other animals, especially dogs and possibly livestock, may present with skin irritations, and we would like to raise awareness of the hazard of OPM. The Forestry Commission has since removed the caterpillar nests that were thought to be responsible for the horses' irritations.

Fig 1.

Oak processionary moth caterpillars, Photograph: Forestry Commission

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