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Management practices of dog and cat owners in France (pet traveling, animal contact rates and medical monitoring): Impacts on the introduction and the spread of directly transmitted infectious pet diseases

Abstract : A number of owner practices among the pet dog and cat population can influence the dynamics of directly transmitted infectious dog and cat diseases, including zoonotic ones. To better depict these management practices, which include pet traveling, contact rates with other companion animals and their medical monitoring (which herein includes prevention aspects), we surveyed 2,122 dog- and/or cat-owning French households through an anonymous online questionnaire. Trips with dogs within the European Union (EU) were frequent, while cats travelled less frequently within the EU and both cats and dogs travelled less frequently outside the EU. Recurrent illegal trips with dogs and cats (non-compliant with regulatory measures) were observed in a context of non-systematic pet border controls. We found that a large proportion of dogs are taken for walks in metropolitan France, with frequent intraspecific contacts (1.4 contacts/day on average), but only a minority (1.4%) of dogs were allowed to roam freely. On the other hand, 59.7% of cat owners allowed their cats to roam freely. We classified pet owners according to different profiles, some of which may be considered 'at risk' for directly transmitted infectious pet diseases. Indeed, one dog owner profile and one cat owner profile depict 'spreaders' of pet diseases (high connectivity with other individuals, little medical monitoring but no traveling) and another dog owner profile describes a potential 'introducer' and 'spreader' of pet diseases (foreign travel, high connectivity with other individuals, and intermediate medical monitoring). While these 'at risk' profiles represent only a minority of French pet owners, they should be better characterized to reinforce targeted prevention designed to minimize the risk of (re)introduction and (re)emergence of directly transmitted infectious dog and cat diseases in France, especially when considering zoonoses with a significant potential impact, such as rabies.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03293004
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 4:47:13 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 10:18:09 AM

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Guillaume Crozet, Marie‐laure Lacoste, Julie Rivière, Emmanuelle Robardet, Florence Cliquet, et al.. Management practices of dog and cat owners in France (pet traveling, animal contact rates and medical monitoring): Impacts on the introduction and the spread of directly transmitted infectious pet diseases. Transboundary and emerging diseases, Wiley-Blackwell, 2021, ⟨10.1111/tbed.14088⟩. ⟨anses-03293004⟩

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