Control of hydatidosis
The planning phase includes:
- Appointment of an appropriate control authority supported by legislation.
- Collection of baseline data from which cost-benefit analyses can be made and appropriate control strategies identified. The data should include the size of the rural dog population, incidence and age prevalence of hydatidosis in humans, reinfection rate of rural dogs and number of veterinarians and technicians needed to treat and test every 10 000 rural dogs.
- Development of a computer-based surveillance programme from which progress in control can be determined and cost-effective modifications can be made.
- Selection and training of staff.
- Appropriate funding for the programme.
The attack phase is labour-intensive and therefore very costly. It involves the dosing of dogs every six weeks the key measure of control-as well as serological surveillance and/or arecoline surveillance. The duration of this phase will depend on the strategy utilized, however, and according to the experience gained, it will take at least ten years and often more. Public education programmes, including instruction in the importance of not feeding uncooked offal to dogs, and strengthened general meat control must be implemented simultaneously.
In order to ensure success, it is paramount that funding is secured for the entire length of the programme before it is started.
Consolidation in Control of hydatidosis
The consolidation phase transfers activities from indiscriminate dog dosing to the quarantining or infected farms of farms deemed to be at risk. This transfer should be accompanied by the introduction of penalties for having infected dogs, if appropriate.
During this phase, all special activities will cease and the normal resources of the meat inspection services of the Ministry of Agriculture will be used to prevent reintroduction. Maintenance of eradication is secured through the continuous surveillance monitoring of human, canine and livestock populations.
Control programmes have been carried out successfully in several countries, including Australia (Tasmania) and Nigeria, where E.granulosus is maintained through a domestic cycle involving dogs and sheep (Gemmell and Lawson, 1986). Other countries are planning to institute similar control programmes.