Fencing protecting dogs from a deadly disease is to finally come down from Monday 7 June 2021 following the eradication of rare ticks.
In 2016 findings of a rare tick carrying the disease Babesiosis led to the council putting up a fence around a piece of land along Third Avenue between the Town Centre and Abercrombie Way. This followed a local vet’s report of cases of Babesiosis in dogs walked in the area. The disease, which can be carried by the ticks, does not affect people, but is very serious for dogs.
Other measures carried out by the council included removing bushes and undergrowth and burning these on site and issuing information to alert local dog owners. Over the years the council has continued to work with Public Health England to monitor the site and regular surveys have been carried out of the area. No ticks have been found in these visits since 2019 so it has been decided that it is now safe to remove the fencing.
Wildspace and Greenteam volunteers will be working on the site alongside council staff on Monday 7 June to remove the fencing as part of the last day of National Volunteers’ Week.
Councillor Alastair Gunn, portfolio holder for environment, said:
“The measures taken by the council have been effective in eradicating these rare ticks from the area.It has now been deemed safe. From next week thanks to the work of the Wildspace and Greenteam volunteers and council staff the area will be reopened and once again, accessible to all, and later in the summer we will come forward with some ideas for improving the landscaping of this area.”
The council is stressing that it is still important that dog owners consult their vets about anti-tick treatment and regularly check their dogs for ticks.