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Defra provides advice to the profession and wider dog breeding industry on Brucella canis

26 October 2023

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in partnership with the Scottish and Welsh governments, have written to veterinary surgeons with precautionary advice on the zoonotic pathogen Brucella canis. This follows an increase in the number of cases of the disease reported in the UK, which has been associated with the importation of dogs from overseas.

The letter, sent from the Chief Veterinary Officers for the UK, Scotland and Wales, provides information about the symptoms of the disease, how to test for it and what to do if an animal is found to have the disease. The Department has asked that veterinary surgeons who have received the letter distribute the information to local dog breeders and dog breeding associations in their area to raise awareness of the disease and its risks, and in doing so safeguard human and animal health.

For further information about Brucella canis, please refer to the recent public health assessment of the risks posed by the disease, published by the Human Animal Infection and Risk Surveillance (HAIRS) group

For further information for veterinary staff, please visit Defra’s Canine-Brucellosis-Summary.pdf ( document and for public health guidance, visit Defra’s Brucella canis: information for the public and dog owners - GOV.UK ( page.

Regarding testing for Brucella canis, a Frequently asked Brucella canis testing questions ( document is available to download.

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