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Infection of sheep and lambs with Taenia ovis remains a source of economic loss to New Zealand. The prevalence of T.ovis detected in lambs at meat works remains at low levels (0.66% for 2014), and the prevalence remains higher in the North than South Island, presumably due to higher numbers of dogs. However, episodic, regional increases still occur, and high prevalence notifications were sent to 1,139 suppliers in the 2013/14 season, compared with 1,097 in the 2012/13 season, and 922 in the 2011/12 season.
Unfortunately, in the past 10 years there has been a significant rise in the number of pet dog owners who feed raw meat and raw offal, despite the stipulation of the Biosecurity Act. It is very likely that this feeding practice is contributing to infection of dogs and shedding of eggs onto pasture, especially when some commercially produced raw food diets are marketed to farmers who may not be aware of the risk of infection from such products. A simple, highly specific, and preferably highly sensitive assay is still needed for the diagnosis of T.ovis.
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Last updated on Monday 08 July 2019