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Hydatid Disease

Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies have been undertaken into the possible connection between the disposal of fallen stock and the spread of hydatid disease among animals and humans; and what conclusions have been reached.

It is known that dogs and wild carnivores excrete eggs of the tapeworm which when ingested by livestock, particularly sheep, develop into the cysts which cause hydatid disease. Dogs become infected with the tapeworm when they eat hydatid cysts present in the carcases of dead animals. Humans may become infected by contact with dogs. Successful control of the parasite (tapeworm) requires regular treatment of dogs with an appropriate medicant.