With increased threats from parasites abroad and plans to alter the existing pet travel derogation, ESCCAP UK has taken it upon itself to provide an authoritative and independent voice to raise awareness of the dangers of parasites affecting the UK and the importance of effective parasitological control.

ESCCAP (the European Scientific Counsel for Companion Animal Parasites) is an international, not-for- profit organisation formed by a group of recognised experts in the fields of parasitology and public health from across Europe. Sponsored by Bayer Animal Health and Novartis Animal Health UK, ESCCAP aims to promote good practice for the control and treatment of parasites in companion animals throughout Europe and aspires for a Europe where parasites are no longer a threat to the health and well being of companion animals and humans.

ESCCAP UK is the UK national association of ESCCAP and actively works to promote the objectives of the European organisation within the UK, while also providing UK relevant information to veterinary and animal care professionals and pet owners.

The effective control of pet parasites is important for the health and well-being of both companion animals and humans, with many parasitic diseases having zoonotic consequences. Furthermore, in a world of increased travel and global warming, the UK is constantly under threat from new, and potentially more dangerous, parasitic infections migrating to the UK from abroad. ESCCAP UK is working closely with its European colleagues to monitor the parasitological status across Europe and looking at how the spread of parasites will impact the UK pet population in the future.

ESCCAP UK is currently working to raise awareness in pet owners and professionals about the importance of effective parasite control. The organisation provides a variety of educational material designed to advise and inform both professionals and pet owners, including:

   guidelines that summarise the different parasitic situations within Europe and recommend specific control measures

   information about the drugs/parasiticides that are available in various European countries for use in the treatment and control of parasites

   a series of leaflets designed specifically for pet owners to inform about the different parasitic risks and provide guidance and advice

   informative material designed specifically for veterinary and animal care professionals for learning and referral purposes, for example the ‘Dog Worm Parasite Wheel’ which is aimed primarily at vet nurses to aid study

   a pet owners’ website, www.petparasites.co.uk, providing free advice and information about pet parasites relevant to the UK

   a professionals’ website, www.esccapuk.org.uk, specifically designed and tailored to meet the needs of veterinary and animal care professionals, providing information and advice about pet parasites relevant to the UK.

The wealth of information provided by ESCCAP UK makes it an essential source of knowledge to facilitate vet nurses to give effective advice and assistance to the pets and owners that are encountered on a day-to-day basis. If you are interested in getting involved in ESCCAP UK and the work that it does, contact info@esccapuk.org.uk or telephone Laura Yeadon on 01684 568998.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 25 • No2 • February 2010 •