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Bluetongue detected in imported cattle
Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and any suspicions must be reported immediately to the APHA.
Movement restrictions in place at affected premises

The BVA is urging vets, farmers and government agencies to be vigilant after two imported cows tested positive for Bluetongue virus (BTV8).

On Monday (24 September), Defra announced the disease was successfully picked up in two cattle that had been imported from France through post-import testing. The APHA and the Pirbright Institute identified the disease in the animals when they were brought to Yorkshire from an assembly centre in central France.

Defra reports that the two cattle were isolated and have been humanely culled, adding that movement restrictions will remain in place on the premises ‘for at least several weeks’.  

Commenting, BVA senior vice president John Fishwick said: “We are reassured to see that the systems we have in place for post-movement testing have led to this disease being detected quickly, and appropriate action has been taken to safeguard animals in the area.

“However, this should act as a reminder that farmers, vets and government agencies must remain vigilant to the threat of disease spread. All livestock keepers should be reminded of the vital importance of responsible sourcing of animals, and of fully understanding the potential disease risks of importing from areas where disease is known to be circulating.

“Farmers should always consult their vet and act within their farm health plan when sourcing new animals. They should also discuss options such as vaccination as one of the main methods of disease control.
 
“Vets play a key role in animal health and disease monitoring in the UK and BVA will continue to work collaboratively with the UK Governments and the profession to modernise and enhance the UK’s disease surveillance networks across all species.”

Transmitted by midge bites, bluetongue can infect all ruminants, causing sickness, reducing milk yield and diminishing reproductive performance. In the most severe cases, the disease can be fatal.

Symptoms include nasal and eye discharge, drooling, swelling around the head or mouth, lethargy and lameness. Bluetongue does not affect humans, and meat and milk from infected animals are safe to consume.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and any suspicions must be reported immediately to the APHA and regional Field Services Offices in Scotland or to DAERA in Northern Ireland. For further advice on Bluetongue, contact the Defra Helpline on 03459 335577.

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”