DACTARI (Dog and Cat Risk Information), is part of DEFRA’s (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) ten-year veterinary surveillance strategy which aims to quantify the occurrence of exotic diseases in imported or native pet animals in Britain. This will thereby monitor the risks of these diseases spreading in the UK, and the potential consequences for animal health should this occur.

Under the DACTARI scheme, veterinary surgeons can voluntarily report suspected or confirmed cases of exotic disease in dogs and cats. Although any exotic disease can be reported under DACTARI, it specifically targets Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis / Ehrlichiosis, along with Dirofilariasis and Leishmaniasis. These diseases are carried and transmitted by ticks, sandflies or mosquitoes, and therefore occur more commonly in warmer climates that favour vector survival. It also highlights that the diagnosis of these diseases can be difficult for various reasons, such as dual infection, sub-clinical infection and non-specific clinical signs.