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Parasitic disease
Expansion of red sheep tick range in England
  1. Paul Phipps, virologist,
  2. Nicholas Johnson, virologist,
  3. Michele Macrelli, veterinary investigation officer,
  4. Nick Pile, practitioner,
  5. Liz McGinley, medical entomologist,
  6. Kayleigh Hansford, medical entomologist and
  7. Jolyon Medlock, medical entomologist
  1. APHA, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. Cliffe Veterinary Group, Radstock House, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2AH
  3. PHE, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG
  1. email: nick.johnson{at}apha.gov.uk

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Following a previous report of the apparent expansion in the geographical range of the red sheep tick (Haemaphysalis punctata) in southern England, particularly in parts of Sussex,1 we are writing to raise awareness of a severe and emerging threat to livestock and horses in the South Downs National Park and surrounding areas due to infestation with this tick, which is associated with disease and deaths of lambs.

During late 2019 to early 2020, Public Health England (PHE) received reports from owners in Sussex of unprecedented numbers of ticks feeding on horses. These were identified as H punctata by the PHE’s tick surveillance scheme (www.gov.uk/guidance/tick-surveillance-scheme).

In parallel, the APHA has investigated the occurrence …

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