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Liver fluke cases increase dramatically
Diagnoses of fluke have soared since October

The number of reported liver fluke cases soared in the last quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, according to Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) figures.

Between October and December 2011, AHVLA said there was seven diagnosed cases of liver fluke, a figure that increased to 69 over the same three-month period last year. Experts say these high figures are down to mild, wet weather.

"The wet summer followed by the mild winter has provided perfect breeding conditions for fluke," said Neil Roberts, partner at a vet group in Yorkshire.

"One of the problems farmers have is there is a variety of fluke treatments and some will only kill the adult flukes. They also all have a 56-day meat withdrawal on them, so this is a problem for those fattening lambs."

Mr Roberts added that farmers should not rely on triclabendazole products all to time, to avoid developing resistance.

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group has urged farmers to continue to monitor their flocks for symptoms of fluke infection, which include an unexpected drop in fertility levels or growth rates, pale gums and bottlejaw.

The parasites fluke metacercarieae thrive in mild wet conditions, and are only killed when exposed to temperatures below -18°C for several days.

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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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News Shorts
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."