This post transferred to http://alabamarot.co.uk/same-chance-of-being-killed-by-lightning-as-dogs-dying-from-alabama-rot-in-new-forest/
The New Forest National Park has 13.5 million visitor days a year - see table below (2). Assuming 8% of visitors walk their dogs, there are 1.1 million dogs from visitors walked each year in the New Forest. A further 37,600 dogs are walked by people who live in the New Forest (3). This gives a total of 1,137,600 dogs walked in the New Forest each year.
In two years, between December 2012 and December 2014, seventeen dogs died of confirmed Alabama Rot in the New Forest (4). So about seven dogs die of Alabama Rot per million dogs walked in the New Forest.
However, there are more dog deaths from Alabama Rot in the New Forest than all the other fourteen National Parks put together. Why?
Could it be that vets outside the New Forest are largely unaware of Alabama Rot and therefore not reporting cases? Or because the New Forest has more woodland than other National Parks and Alabama Rot cases are often found in woodland? Or because the New Forest 'cluster' or 'hotspot' of Alabama Rot simply occurs by chance? Do visitors dogs get Alabama Rot outside the New Forest? Or does the New Forest have an unknown environmental factor that triggers Alabama Rot in dogs? Or some other reason?
Whatever the reason, more Alabama Rot research is needed on the epidemiology of this dreadful dog disease (5).
References (all accessed 7th February 2015)
(3) 8% x visitor DAY = dogs walked. http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/new-forest-dog-study.pdf/$file/new-forest-dog-study.pdf