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Climate Change: A Factor in Emerging Animal Diseases?
The detection of links between animal production systems around the world, climate change and the epidemiological evolution of animal diseases was the focus of a recent meeting organised by the OIE with experts from several continents.
 

“The experts confirmed that there are correlations between the various factors linking animal production systems, human influence on the environment, climate change and emerging diseases, but they reaffirmed that these correlations involve mechanisms of very great complexity, making them extremely difficult to measure and the value of any forecasts most uncertain”, declared Dr Gideon Brückner from South Africa, who chaired the group of experts.

Human impact on the environment and climate change are not without consequences for the epidemiological evolution of certain pathogens capable of causing animal and/or human diseases. The OIE state that the world is currently witnessing an acceleration of the emergence or re-emergence of unexpected epidemiological events: for example, at least one new disease appears every year.

these correlations involve mechanisms of very great complexity, making them extremely difficult to measure and the value of any forecasts most uncertain

Dr Gideon Brückner
The OIE experts recommended investing even more in research to confirm or rule out causal links between climate change and emerging or re-emerging diseases.

“For a number of years the OIE has been implementing policies aimed at helping its Member Countries to be better prepared for the consequences of intensified animal production. The aim is to meet world demand and to be prepared to deal with new epidemiological events, most of which are related to human-caused environmental changes” stated Dr Vallat, Director General of THE OIE.

To that end the OIE supports its Member Countries by helping them to strengthen their Veterinary Services through a procedure known as the PVS (Performance of Veterinary Services). Throughout the world, these Services are in the frontline, alongside animal producers, to ensure early detection and rapid response to deal with sanitary events presenting a threat to animals and humans.

The OIE also urges the unremitting development of research programmes aimed at devising environmentally friendly animal production systems and, in parallel, suitable biosecurity methods to ensure better disease prevention and control.

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.