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Emerging pathogen found in salamanders in the EU
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was first identified in 2013 and causes a fatal skin disease in non-resistant species.

Efsa recommendations to protect pet and wild amphibians 

An emerging fungal pathogen has been detected in captive and wild salamanders across five EU member states, a new report shows.

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was first identified in 2013 and causes a fatal skin disease in non-resistant species.

Despite limited surveillance, the pathogen has been seen in pet salamanders in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, according to a new report by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

It has also been detected in wild populations in some parts of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

As surveillance is limited, however, the pathogen could be more widely spread than currently known.

To ensure safer trade of live salamanders in the EU and internationally, Efsa suggested a potential ban or restrictions on salamander imports, though the authority noted that this could also boost the illegal trade. Other methods include hygiene procedures, good practice manuals and efforts to identify and treat infected pets.

In the wild, Efsa recommended preventing the translocation of wild amphibians, as well as the release/return to the wild of captive or temporarily housed salamanders. Contact points and emergency teams should also be set up for passive surveillance.

Other recommendations in the report include:

  • enhance surveillance
  • introduce a harmonised protocol on Bsal detection in the EU
  • raise awareness of Bsal among breeders, keepers and pet shops
  • put together guidelines on hygiene procedures
  • movements of captive salamanders should be based on health status (Bsal negative)
  • improve data on salamander abundance and distribution.

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop