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New Caudata rules set to come into force in July
Bsal has been detected in different species of salamander across the UK, both kept as pets and in the wild.
Rules to prevent spread of deadly fungus amongst newts and salamanders

New rules on the import of Caudata amphibians are to be implemented across the UK following a decision by the European Commission.

The new rules come into force on the 1 July, 2018 and seek to prevent the spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) amongst newts and salamanders.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, Bsal has been detected in different species of salamander across the UK, both kept as pets and in the wild. Cases have been reported in Germany, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. In some salamander species, Bsal has been shown to cause high mortality.

The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) has urged anyone involved in the import, export or sale of Caudata species to familiarise themselves with the new rules and to ensure any animals they buy and sell conform.

The rules cover the whole of the UK and, to import Caudata or move between EU countries, individuals must:
  • use the custom code 0106900000
  • have the appropriate health certificates
  • pre-notify APHA of non-EU imports (CVED) or FHI for EU imports (BSAL2). They will also need to do this if they wish to export Caudata to the EU or if the import is from outside the EU
  • quarantine animals at a Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) registered appropriate establishment and get a written authorisation from them for release once the animals have completed the quarantine period.
Pets, defined as five or fewer animals accompanied by their owner, are excluded from the rules. Acquiring animals from a trade show, shop or hobbyist to become part of a collection is not defined as moving a pet.

Further information can be obtained from the Fish Health Inspectorate: fhi@cefas.co.uk

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”