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Avian flu suspected in Suffolk
chickens
Further investigations are being carried out to determine the nature of the virus detected and to establish the possible source of infection. (stock photo)
Defra announces control zone after H5N8 finding
 
Controls have been introduced at a premises near Redgrave in Suffolk following investigations into a suspected case of avian influenza.

The UK’s deputy chief veterinary officer announced an initial 10km Temporary Control Zone around the premises after laboratory analysis identified the presence of H5N8.

It has been decided to cull the remaining birds in the flock, which is estimated to contain approximately 23,000 birds. Further investigations are being carried out to determine the nature of the virus detected and to establish the possible source of infection.

The Temporary Control Zone consists of a 3km Zone A and 10km Zone B. It is equivalent to the 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone that would apply after a confirmed case of avian influenza.

Further details of the controls in place can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#movement-controls-and-licences

Defra has also updated its interactive map: http://www.gisdiseasemap.defra.gov.uk/intmaps/avian/map.jsp

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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”