Pet population management and public health: A web service based tool for the improvement of dog traceability

Paolo Dalla Villa*, Stefano Messori, Luigi Possenti, Shanis Barnard, Mara Cianella, Cesare Di Francesco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The risks associated with zoonotic infections transmitted by companion animals are a serious public health concern: the control of zoonoses incidence in domestic dogs, both owned and stray, is hence important to protect human health. Integrated dog population management (DPM) programs, based on the availability of information systems providing reliable data on the structure and composition of the existing dog population in a given area, are fundamental for making realistic plans for any disease surveillance and action system. Traceability systems, based on the compulsory electronic identification of dogs and their registration in a computerised database, are one of the most effective ways to ensure the usefulness of DPM programs. Even if this approach provides many advantages, several areas of improvement have emerged in countries where it has been applied. In Italy, every region hosts its own dog register but these are not compatible with one another. This paper shows the advantages of a web-based-application to improve data management of dog regional registers. The approach used for building this system was inspired by farm animal traceability schemes and it relies on a network of services that allows multi-channel access by different devices and data exchange via the web with other existing applications, without changing the pre-existing platforms. Today the system manages a database for over 300,000 dogs registered in three different Italian regions. By integrating multiple Web Services, this approach could be the solution to gather data at national and international levels at reasonable cost and creating a traceability system on a large scale and across borders that can be used for disease surveillance and development of population management plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive veterinary medicine
Issue number3-4
Early online date22 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Databases
  • Dog identification
  • Dog registration
  • Traceability
  • Web-service

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals


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