Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Size estimation and demography of owned pets in NE ITaly

Capello, K., Bortolotti, L., Lanari, M., Baioni, E., Mutinelli, F., & Vascellari, M. (2014). Estimate of the size and demographic structure of the owned dog and cat population living in Veneto region (north-eastern Italy). Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

The knowledge of the size and demographic structure of animal populations is a necessary prerequisite for any population-based epidemiological study, especially to ascertain and interpret prevalence data, to implement surveillance plans in controlling zoonotic diseases and, moreover, to provide accurate estimates of tumours incidence data obtained by population-based registries. The main purpose of this study was to provide an accurate estimate of the size and structure of the canine population in Veneto region (north-eastern Italy), using the Lincoln-Petersen version of the capture-recapture methodology. The Regional Canine Demographic Registry (BAC) and a sample survey of households of Veneto Region were the capture and recapture sources, respectively. The secondary purpose was to estimate the size and structure of the feline population in the same region, using the same survey applied for dog population. A sample of 2,465 randomly selected households was drawn and submitted to a questionnaire using the CATI technique, in order to obtain information about the ownership of dogs and cats. If the dog was declared to be identified, owner's information was used to recapture the dog in the BAC. The study was conducted in Veneto Region during 2011, when the dog population recorded in the BAC was 605,537. Overall, 616 households declared to possess at least one dog (25%), with a total of 805 dogs and an average per household of 1.3. The capture-recapture analysis showed that 574 dogs (71.3%, 95% CI: 68.04% - 74.40%) had been recaptured in both sources, providing a dog population estimate of 849,229 (95% CI: 814,747 - 889,394), 40% higher than that registered in the BAC. Concerning cats, 455 of 2,465 (18%, 95%CI: 17% - 20%) households declared to possess at least one cat at the time of the telephone interview, with a total of 816 cats. The mean number of cats per household was equal to 1.8, providing an estimate of the cat population in Veneto region equal to 663,433 (95%CI: 626,585 - 737,159). The estimate of the size and structure of owned canine and feline populations in Veneto region provide useful data to perform epidemiological studies and monitoring plans in this area.

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