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THE timing of the ‘optimal treatment window’ within which dogs being moved from infected to non-infected countries must be treated for Echinococcus multilocularis should be reconsidered, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has suggested.
In a scientific opinion published on December 22, the EFSA notes that ‘a general rule is to treat as close as possible to entry into a free country’ and it recommends that ‘Reconsideration of the definition of the optimal treatment window (presently up to 120 hours before entry) when moving dogs from infected to non-infected countries might be worthwhile to reduce the risk of reinfection.’
The EFSA has drawn up the scientific opinion at the request of the European Commission ahead of a review of the legislation governing preventive health measures for the control of E multilocularis infections in dogs, which allows some EU member states, including the UK, to require dogs to be treated against the parasite before being allowed to enter the country. The legislation was adopted in 2011 and also requires countries claiming to be free of the parasite (Finland, Ireland, Malta, the UK and, since 2014, Norway) to implement surveillance programmes for E multilocularis. …