A potentially deadly disease transmitted by dogs and foxes could spread to the UK after a European Commission decision to lift a requirement that pets must be wormed by a vet two days before they enter the country. The larvae of a small tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis, has killed hundreds of people on mainland Europe in the past decade. The larvae cause tumour-like cysts to grow in the human liver and tend to remain undetected for up to 15 years, by which time the liver is so badly damaged that 90 per cent of patients die. Britain has prevented the disease coming into the country thanks to a derogation from an EU law that allows the free movement of people and goods between member states. But the derogaton expires at the end of this year and it is unclear whether the Commission will allow any further exemption.

The rest of this article appears in 6th April issue of Shooting Times.

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