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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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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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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.