BARC (Bag And Remove Cymru) is a Citizen Science Project, established in 2013 at Cardiff University, focussing on common soil parasites such as Toxocara.
The project aims to:
1) Assess the UK prevalence of common soil parasites, focusing on Toxocara spp. in particular;
2) Determine whether parasite contamination levels can be reduced by anti-dog fouling campaigns;
3) Increase public awareness of the negative effects of dog fouling on the environment and to mankind.
In 2013 there were 8.5-10 million dogs in the UK, which contributes significantly to the wellbeing of dog owners. These dogs, however, produce about 1,000 tonnes of excrement each day and UK tax payers spend £22 million annually to clean up dog faeces. Humans are at risk of toxocariasis infections if infective eggs are ingested and dog fouling obviously compromises animal health. This is why it is useful to determine the prevalence of Toxocara spp. in the UK and why it is fundamental to increase the public understanding of dog fouling and its links to disease.
If you are interested in learning more about this Citizen Science project or would like to provide us with a soil sample so we can assess the level of Toxocara contamination on your doorstep please visit us here.