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New strain of equine flu responsible for outbreaks, AHT confirms
AHT recommends that all horses are revaccinated if the booster was given more than six months ago.
Florida Clade 1 H3N8 in circulation in the UK

A new strain of equine influenza is responsible for the recent outbreaks in vaccinated horses, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has confirmed.

In its latest update, published on Monday (18 February), the trust said there had been 29 outbreaks in 17 counties across England and Scotland.

This heightened number of cases is down the the newly identified Florida Clade 1 H3N8.

Outbreaks in race horses prompted all races to be cancelled across Great Britain for nearly a week earlier this month.

The AHT, which is continuing to test samples, said the current vaccine offers a greater degree of protection that was initially thought when outbreaks began to occur in Europe. This is particularly true when a booster has recently been administered.

Vaccinated horses experience milder symptoms and recover faster than unvaccinated horses. The trust recommends that all horses are revaccinated if the booster was given more than six months ago.

AHT has come up with five protocols to help reduce the number of outbreaks:
  • Vaccinate: Horses should receive a booster if they were vaccinated more than six months ago. Unvaccinated horses will need to start a course of vaccinations.
  • Isolate: Immediately isolate new or unwell horses from the main yard. Be aware of biosecurity measures.
  • Investigate: Speak to organisers about biosecurity measures at any events or equine gatherings before deciding to attend.
  • Communicate: Be open about any suspected or confirmed cases to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Mitigate: Gather as much information as possible to mitigate the risk of attending an event or moving a horse.

 

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The Kennel Club appoints new chief executive

News Story 1
 The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of Mark Beazley, who was previously Cats Protection's director of operations, as chief executive. Mark replaces Rosemary Smart, who stepped down from the role in April after 18 years.

Mark has held several senior strategic and executive roles, including executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland and chair of the Companion Animal Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Eu Cat and Dog Alliance.

Mark will take up his new role in October. 

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International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."