As you are probably aware following last weekend’s competitions there have been reported cases of kennel cough from two primary teams. As kennel cough is highly contagious discussions immediately took place on limiting exposure and ensuring that the rules on infectious diseases are adhered to. The incubation period for kennel cough is 7 to 10 days which means that teams may have inadvertently attended a competition prior to their dog showing any symptoms. Due to this we rely on prompt and honest reporting to ensure that any spread is minimised and urge any further cases to be reported immediately to the BFA committee via the BFA secretary. The BFA Committee have been working in conjunction with the BFA veterinary advisor to come up with a plan to try to minimise the risk whilst remaining pragmatic. Cancelling competitions was considered and may still be required should the number of cases increase. Due to this we have come up with a risk template: · Infected: those dogs with confirmed KC cannot compete or train for a minimum of 21 days from the last cough/symptom · High Risk: dogs from the same primary team - these dogs are not to race or train for 14 days, if no signs/symptoms then they can return to training/racing. Any dogs from other teams spending prolonged periods of time with infected dogs will also fall under high risk. · Moderate risk: dogs racing in the same division - these teams should take the following precautions to minimise the risk of infection: 1. Wash balls (see advice below), 2. No communal water bowls (take your own bowls for your own dogs), 3. Reduce time by ringside to a minimum and return to camp/parking area and isolate your dogs · Low risk: dogs present at any of the following competitions (Leverhulme (UKFL), Bradley Mills) but not in the same division(s) as the infected dogs - to take the same precautions as above. Also those teams who attended Newark and Eggborough are included in this group as there is a possibility that dogs at these competitions have been exposed to kennel cough. All teams attending tournaments in the coming weeks should be vigilant and also follow the above advice to ensure we are reducing the risk for all in attendance. Ball washing advice The Bordetella bacteria which can be part of KC can survive for 2 weeks in the environment, especially if the environment is damp. So used tennis balls, thrown into a sealed plastic tub or bucket at the end of a training session or days competition is a lovely environment for the bacteria to survive. It’s killed by bleach (5% sodium hypochlorite) diluted at 1:32, or by potassium peroxymonosulfate (Virkon® or Trifectant®). The parainfluenza virus doesn’t survive long is the environment. Kennel cough is always a risk for groups of dogs and we rely on each dog owner taking responsibility and all team captains taking the necessary precautions if they believe there is a potential risk of passing on. Any teams with infected dogs should contact the BFA Committee prior to attending a competition to ensure that all dogs have been clear for the necessary time scales.