Concerns have recently been raised about the risk of contamination of waterways by parasiticides commonly used in companion animals. As these products are harmful to a wide range of invertebrates, the impact that these can have on wildlife and ecosystems cannot be dismissed.
iCatCare/ISFM support the British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) policy position on the responsible use of parasiticides for cats and dogs and the recommendations made in this policy.
Nathalie Dowgray, Head of ISFM commented ‘While cats are likely to be lower contributors to this environmental contamination because they are less likely to be bathed or to swim in waterways, effort should still be made to reduce the impact they do have’.
Because individual cats may differ hugely in their lifestyles (some living completely indoors and some hunting regularly outdoors) and health, iCatCare/ISFM recommend that an individual risk assessment is performed annually on all cats before parasiticides are advised. Other considerations include the type of product prescribed (eg, single ingredient verses multi-ingredient), route of administration and, where topical medications are being given, owners should be advised on how to apply this medication to reduce contamination to the wider coat and to the physical environment.
BVA President Justine Shotton said: ‘Veterinary professionals have a role to play in protecting the environment, so BVA welcomes this supportive statement from iCatCare and ISFM. It is really positive to see another organisation providing advice and guidance to veterinary professionals and highlighting the challenges around these medicines. We believe it’s vital to continue to encourage discussion within the sector on the impact parasiticides can have on the planet and how best to use them responsibly.’
iCatCare/ISFM position statement on the responsible use of parasiticides in cats can be found at: https://icatcare.org/app/uploads/2022/02/iCatCare-IFSM-Responsible-use-of-parasiticides-in-cats-position-statement.pdf
BVA, BSAVA and BVZS policy position on responsible use of parasiticides for cats and dogs can be found at: http://www.bva.co.uk/parasiticides