Evira investigates the risks related to imported dogs
The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira's Risk Assessment Research Unit has launched a research project on the risks to human and animal health caused by imported dogs. The risk assessment study will examine the situation of the import of dogs in Finland and the potential risks posed by imported dogs to Finns and their dogs. The project aims to provide more information for the authorities, importers of dogs and dog owners alike.
"This research is highly necessary. There is insufficient country-specific information about imported dogs and their possible spreading of pathogens in Finland. In the absence of research results, it's also not possible to form a clear picture of the risks of importing dogs to the country in support of the dialogue about this issue. We feel confident that this research project will provide the facts needed", says Evira's Senior Researcher Heidi Rossow, DVM (Ph.D).
Benefits to dog disease research and import activities
The aim of the project is to find out whether the import of dogs to Finland causes health risks to Finns or their dogs. At the same time, the study will provide information that will help to improve the activities related to the import of dogs.
Laboratory samples will be taken from dogs entering the country. Blood samples will show whether the dog's rabies vaccines are in order and whether they match the data recorded in the pet passport. The research will also involve investigating whether the dog has multi-resistant bacteria (such as MRSA and ESBL) that may infect humans, or pathogens that are not commonly found in Finland. Studies of the dog's faeces will reveal whether it carries, for example, echinococcus multilocularis eggs, i.e. tapeworms, which may infect humans.
Enrol your dog in the study
Participants in the research can include dogs imported into the country by both private persons and associations.
"All dogs, regardless of their background and age, can participate in the study. The researchers will choose the suitable dogs for the sampling. The only condition is that the dog has been in Finland for less than a month. Of course, you can also enrol a dog that will be imported in the next few months", says Senior Researcher Suvi Joutsen, from Evira.
Free information about your dog's health
By participating in the research, a dog owner receives important information about the health of their dog, as they can choose to receive the results of their dog's laboratory tests. The laboratory tests included in the project are free of charge for the owner.
In the project report and other publications, the results are processed in such a way that neither the owner's or dog's data can be identified.
If you are interested in participating in the research or have any questions, please contact the project researchers.
More information by email:
Senior Researcher Suvi Joutsen, Risk Assessment Research Unit
Senior Researcher Heidi Rossow, DVM (Ph.D.), Risk Assessment Research Unit
Head of Unit, Professor Pirkko Tuominen, Risk Assessment Research Unit