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FMDV vaccination strategy could reduce poverty in Eastern Africa

A targeted vaccination programme against foot-and-mouth disease (FMDV) could help to alleviate poverty in Eastern Africa, according to new research by the University of Glasgow and Pirbright Institute.

The team found that FMDV serotypes pass through livestock in ‘slow waves’, but livestock are rarely infected by viruses circulating in wild buffalo.

Researchers suggest that quickly identifying the serotype causing an outbreak would allow serotype-specific vaccines to be deployed, preventing the virus’s continued spread in sub-Saharan Africa. This would offer a cost-effective strategy for reducing the economic and health impacts on livestock keepers in these regions.

Lead author Dr Tiziana Lembo said: “Our research demonstrates that disease risks are driven by livestock - rather than wildlife-related factors. This is different to the situation in southern Africa, where there is spill over from buffalo to livestock, and control methods therefore focus on their separation.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

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News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”