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bTB: dual host element 'ignored for too long'
cow
Bovine TB costs the UK Government £100 million a year and has a serious impact on the cattle farming industry.
Targeting badger-badger TB spread has 'modest impact' on cattle

Reducing the spread of bovine TB from badger-to-badger has only a 'modest impact' on cattle infection, according to the results of a new study by the universities of Bristol and Cambridge.

Control strategies that target badger-to-cattle and cattle-to-cattle transmission are likely to be more effective, said researchers.

Their findings, which have been published in the Royal Society Proceedings B, suggest feedback between cattle and badgers is 'critical' for our understanding and control of the disease, which costs the UK Government around £100 million a year.

Prior to this study, research has generally focused on the disease in cattle or badgers, but not both.

Professor James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at Cambridge, said: "The dual host element of the disease has been ignored for far too long in the public debate about the disease."

Scientists used mathematical modelling techniques alongside data from various sources to predict the impact of bTB controls. Their work suggests that while bTB is likely to be almost eradicated in badgers and cattle when taken in isolation. Control is likely to be far more challenging, however, when both species are considered together.

Lead author Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock, from the University of Bristol, explained: "Our findings show that in areas with badger infection, cattle-to-badger and badger-to-cattle transmission is critical to the whole system. You can’t just consider one species in isolation.

"Reducing badger-to-cattle transmission is likely to be more effective than reducing prevalence in badgers alone. This may have particular implications for badger vaccination programmes, depending on local incidence of badger infection."

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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BSAVA rolls out CPD resources and benefits in absence of Congress

A package of CPD resources and benefits are set to be rolled out on BSAVA's social media channels over the coming days in a bid to fill the gap left by the cancellation of BSAVA Congress.

The package includes a 10 discount voucher on all printed manuals and access to the BSAVA Library. BSAVA said that it will also be recording more than 100 hours of planned Congress lectures over the following weeks so that vets don't completely miss out on the Congress experience.

The resource, titled Congress on Demand will be ready in early May.