The ongoing crisis in Ukraine means that refugees continue to arrive in the UK and some may wish to bring their pets with them.
Rabies is present in Ukraine therefore some pets from Ukraine, mainly dogs and cats, pose a potential risk to the UK’s rabies free status. As a result, they are subject to entry requirements and close monitoring following arrival.
In the unlikely event that vets in practice encounter a case where they suspect the presence of rabies in a pet, Government Departments and Mission Rabies have collaborated to produce relevant guidance to support vets in such situations. The Guidance covers clinical signs, diagnosis, how to report suspected cases and prevention measures for both animals and people. For more information please see the Defra website Rabies: webinar for veterinary professionals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which includes a video, slides and a document covering common questions & answers. The video can also be accessed directly here: Rabies Webinar for Veterinary Professionals - YouTube.
Please remember that rabies is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect it in an animal, it must be reported immediately. In such instances, the following should be contacted:
- England - the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301
- Scotland - Ayr 03000 600703 Galashiels 03000 600711 Inverness 03000 600709 Inverurie 03000 600708 Perth 03000 600704
- Wales - 0300 030 8268
- Defra’s Exotic Disease Policy team can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org