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Rabies case reported in Spain

Authorities activate contingency plan

Spanish authorities have activated their rabies contingency plan after a dog carrying the disease had to be euthanised in Toledo, central Spain.

The dog was confirmed to have rabies after travelling to Morocco, and is known to have bitten several people, including a two-year-old child.

All humans and animals who have had contact with the affected dog are to be traced in accordance with the contingency plan.

Furthermore, all dogs, cats and rabbits within a 20km radius of Toledo will undergo compulsory vaccination. Those considering travelling to Spain with their pet have been advised to check the restrictions in place with the Spanish authorities.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) conducted a preliminary outbreak assessment, reporting that the increased risk of rabies being introduced to the UK by a legally imported pet is negligible.

There are, however, current concerns about the potential for rabies to enter the UK through illegal importation of susceptible animals.

"This case demonstrates all too clearly the importance of complying with the requirements of pet travel legislation," said Professor Michael Day, president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).

"Veterinary surgeons should always remain vigilant for pets exhibiting clinical signs that might fit within the rabies spectrum, especially if there is a recent history of travel abroad."

Suspected rabies cases should be reported to the nearest Animal Health Office, and the animal kept restrained and isolated. A veterinary officer will usually come to the practice to manage the investigation.

Click here to view Defra's preliminary outbreak assessment.

Large image: Toledo, Spain

Small image (above): Michael Day, BSAVA president


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Zoo calls for volunteers in its hour of need

News Story 1
 As ZSL London Zoo begins to get back on its feet, the organisation is putting out a call for volunteers who have time to help out. It comes after three months of unprecedented closure, which has seen zoos across the UK come under enormous financial pressure.

Volunteers will be required to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around. Volunteer manager Rhiannon Green said: "We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.

For more information, visit Posts are available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."