Did you know that a little known parasite in dog mess can cause serious harm to cows and their calves?
Norbury Park dairy farmer Mark Frost is suffering big losses to his herd after the rate of Neospora infection in his Friesian cattle went up from 5% to 25% in the past year.
He believes that many dog owners are completely unaware of the problem.
Mark has made a short video about the dangers of Neospora in collaboration with Surrey County Council’s countryside team.
The rise in infection coincides with a big increase in dog walking on the land he farms since the start of the pandemic.
Dog waste can contain the Neospora parasite which remains in the environment for around eight months. If grazing livestock are infected, they often miscarry or become infertile.
Even if cows go to full term their calves will be infected and can suffer neurological problems.
So Mark is appealing to dog owners to always clear up after their pets when walking across grazing land, even if there are no cattle in the field.
Please take the waste home or leave it in a bin provided for the purpose. Neospora can also infect sheep, goats and other livestock.
You can read more about Neosporosis in dogs here.