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Sennybridge Disease

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely change in the number of cases of Sennybridge disease when UK derogations from European animal health regulation EC998/2003 expires in July 2010; and if he will make a statement. (234850)

'Sennybridge Disease' is a vernacular term for cystic hydatid disease that occurs particularly in certain areas of Wales, and is caused by infection with the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. The requirements of the UK Pet Travel Scheme for tapeworm treatment for pets entering the UK under the scheme, as permitted under the derogation from EC Regulation 998/2003, are aimed at preventing tapeworm infections that are exotic to the UK, such as Echinococcus multilocularis, that cause the more serious human alveolar hydatid disease. An assessment of the potential risks to public health that could arise from introduction of Echinococcus multilocularis into the UK has been made and is currently being considered across Government in developing our future strategy for the UK Pet Travel Scheme.

As hydatid disease due to Echinococcus granulosus is already endemic in the UK, it did not form part of the risk assessment referred to above.