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bTB incidence drops in Gloucestershire and Somerset - Defra
“Bovine TB remains one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK."

Dismay as badger cull is rolled out to 11 new areas

The incidence of bovine TB has fallen in Gloucestershire and Somerset, new data from the government suggests.

Defra says bTB levels in the two areas are now around half what they were before the four-year pilot badger culls began.

TB incidence in Gloucestershire fell from 10.4 per cent before culling started, to 5.6 per cent in year four of the cull. Meanwhile, in Somerset, levels fell from 24 per cent to 12 per cent.

Announcing the new figures, the government also revealed that licences have been granted for badger culls in 10 new areas within the High Risk Area. One additional licence has been granted within the Low Risk Area in Cumbria.

In addition, a new round of applications has opened for Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme grants. The scheme was suspended for two years after a global vaccine shortage, before resuming in 2017.

Farming minister George Eustice said: “Bovine TB remains one of the greatest animal health threats to the UK. There is no single measure that will provide an easy answer which is why we are committed to pursuing a wide range of interventions to protect the future of our dairy and beef industries and eradicate the disease within 20 years.

“No one wants to be culling badgers forever so the progress reported today is encouraging.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust expressed “extreme dismay” that the county has now been granted a culling licence. Over 40,000 badgers could be culled by the end of 2018 as a result of the extension of the cull to new areas, the trust added.

Julian Woolford, chief executive, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It is unacceptable that the government has not waited for the results of their own review – which we understand is to be published imminently – before forging ahead with another year of ineffective and expensive badger culling.

“The badger cull is a dangerous distraction from addressing the main route of bTB transmission in cattle which is between cattle.”

Senior policy manager Ellie Brodie added: “We’re calling on the government to invest in medicine, not marksmen. The costs of killing badgers are much higher than vaccinating them – it costs £496.51 to kill a badger compared with £82 to vaccinate a badger.”

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New single-dose RHD-2 vaccine launched

News Story 1
 The first monovalent vaccine to be registered in Europe for the prevention of rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 (RHD-2) has been launched by animal health firm HIPRA.

ERAVAC is a single-dose injectable emulsion that can be administered without the need for reconstitution beforehand. The new presentation contains 10 vials with individual doses that can be given to companion rabbits from 30 days of age. 

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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