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New figures show fall in campylobacter cases
Raw chicken
The FSA is changing the way it monitors levels of campylobacter on chickens at slaughterhouse level.
Levels in chicken continue to decline

The number of human campylobacter cases in the UK fell by 17 per cent in 2016, according to new figures.

Published by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), the figures also show that levels in chicken continue to decline.

From August to December 2016, seven per cent of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination, down from 12 per cent for the same period in 2015.

“The challenge we set of reducing the number of people who get ill from campylobacter has been achieved,” said Heather Hancock, chairman of the FSA.

“In the absence of any other clear indicators, we can reasonably say that the work that we and the food industry have done from farm to fork has given us this really positive result for public health.”

The individual results of the nine retailers with the highest market share show that five per cent of chickens tested positive for campylobacter within the highest band of contamination.

The percentage of chickens that tested positive for the presence of campylobacter at any level is 56 per cent, down from 66 per cent in 2015 and 78 per cent in 2014.

Hancock said that the reduction in the number of people getting ill from campylobacter was the result of industry bodies working together.

“This has been achieved by working with the industry to tackle this difficult problem and raising consumer awareness. We commend the efforts of the larger retailers and the major processing plants who supply them, all of which have shown significant improvement and many have achieved the target we set to reduce the highest levels ofcampylobacter. They have invested a lot of effort and money into interventions to tackle the problem.

“But there is more to be done and our focus now is on encouraging the smaller retailers and processors, who generally haven’t met target levels, to follow the lead of the major players and we are considering how we can best help them and monitor their progress.”

The FSA is changing the way it monitors levels of campylobacter on chickens at slaughterhouse level by ending the monitoring programme in its current form. It claims this will not impact on the retail survey and will be the method through which large processors and retailers will be measured.

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New DNA testing scheme for the Russian black terrier

News Story 1
 A new DNA testing scheme for juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy (JLPP) in the Russian black terrier has been approved by The Kennel Club.

JLPP is a genetic disease that affects the nerves. In affected dogs, it starts with the nerve that supplies the muscles of the larynx leading to muscle weakness and laryngeal paralysis.

To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, visit thekennelclub.org.uk.

 

News Shorts
Feline art marks 90 years of Cats Protection

Sussex-based charity Cats Protection is hosting a prestigious art exhibition to mark its 90th anniversary.

More than 200 paintings provided by members of the Society of Feline Artists will go on show at the charity's National Cat Centre in Chelwood Gate (28 April - 7 May).

"Art enthusiasts, students and cat lovers alike will all enjoy the exhibition, and we hope it will also inspire some of our younger visitors to get sketching," said Cats Protection's director of fundraising, Lewis Coghlin.