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High fluke risk forecasted for parts of UK
Farmers are advised to check the fluke forecast for their area.
Greater risk due to high rainfall in summer

Parts of the UK are facing higher risk of liver fluke this autumn, according to the latest parasite forecast from SCOPS.

Met Office reports show rainfall was relatively low over the winter of 2016-17. However, parts of Scotland, Wales, North and South-West England saw higher than normal rainfall in June/July this year.

Rainfall was lower in August but there is a greater risk of fluke in these areas owing to wetter than average weather earlier in the summer.

The NADIS forecast predicts a high risk of fluke infection in western Scotland and South Wales this autumn. Meanwhile there is potential for medium risk in eastern Scotland, North-West England, South-West England and North Wales.

Elsewhere, in the central and eastern regions of England, there is currently thought to be a low risk. However, the forecast may change depending on rainfall in September and October.

Acute fluke in sheep was confirmed in Cheshire last month, while positive results were also reported from lambs in South West Scotland, and from Parasite Waatch farms in South West England and South West Wales.

Farmers are advised to check the fluke forecast for their area and discuss testing or treatment options with their vet, in addition to quarantine protocols for new or returning animals.

Sudden deaths in sheep should be investigated and it is advisable to reduce fluke risk through management where possible. For example, removing sheep or cattle from the wettest fields or housing early.

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."