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New Equine Virus test launched
NEV is often misdiagnosed or hidden by other diseases that cause similar symptoms.
Test to prevent misdiagnosis of often fatal disease

The first commercial diagnostic test for New Equine Virus (NEV) has been launched.

First discovered in 2013, NEV is often misdiagnosed or hidden by other diseases that cause similar symptoms, such as anaemia and neurological problems.

It is most often confused with the Swamp Fever virus (EIAV) and Equine Herpesvirus (EHV).

Now, thanks to research by equine biotech firm Equigerminal, vets, laboratories and horse owners will be able to identify this often fatal disease and administer the appropriate treatment.

The test requires a vet to take a blood sample from the horse and send it to the Equigerminal lab. The blood is then analysed and the results are returned to the owner or vet.

When the results are returned, the horse can be given treatment and the spread of the disease can be prevented. Currently, treatment is aimed towards improving the general wellbeing of the horse, monitoring its health and boosting the immune system.

NEV was discovered by Portuguese scientist and veterinary surgeon Isabel Fidalgo Carvalho while completing her PhD in Equine Sciences at the Universities of Oporto and Pittsburgh.

“During my time at University and at Equigerminal, I noticed unusual anaemia and severe neurological signs in horses, which in my PhD I wrongly hypothesized to be attributed to Swamp Fever,” she said. “I then realised, through the samples, that this virus was actually closer to equine HIV – New Equine Virus, or NEV”.

After her discovery, Carvalho launched Equigerminal with fellow scientist Alexandre Vieira Pires.

“We have spent the last five years developing a diagnostic test and a potential cure for NEV.” explains Pires.“We now need to raise awareness of the problem and help vets to diagnose this disease correctly.”

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.