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Pet cats and dogs in Great Britain: mapping the population for use in disease control

J. Aegerter, D. Fouracre, G. C. Smith

GOVERNMENT has a direct role in managing zoonotic diseases of policy concern (eg, rabies) and may also have a role in the management of veterinary diseases of social concern. In Great Britain, almost half of households own at least one cat or dog and accurate maps of the density of pets would be helpful in assessing or predicting alternative policy scenarios, as well as the delivery of effective contingency responses to pet diseases of policy concern.

This study aimed to produce the first estimate of the density of pets at a fine spatial scale in Great Britain to provide an evidence base for decision-makers and other research workers.

An estimate of the structure and density of pet populations was made using recent national population estimates of cats and dogs across Great Britain and subdividing these spatially and categorically across ownership classes. For the spatial model, the location and size of veterinary practices across Great Britain were used to predict the local density of pets. For the estimates of pets which may cause problems when managing a veterinary or zoonotic disease, the literature was reviewed and a range of ownership types for cats and dogs were defined.

The predicted …

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