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Government to extend use of Approved Tuberculin Testers
A pilot project to trial the use of ATTs will be launched later this year.
Pilot project to be launched later this year

The government has announced that that it intends to extend the use of Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) to perform skin tests on cattle in England.

The decision follows a six-week consultation and will see the launch of a pilot project trialling the use of ATTs in private business later this year.

Welcoming the news, BVA senior vice president John Fishwick said: “BVA believes that there is a role for lay TB testers as part of a veterinary-led team, under veterinary direction, as long as all lay TB testers are appropriately trained, regulated and subject to standards of quality assurance that ensures an equivalent competence as a veterinary surgeon carrying out the same task.

“Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) have the potential to fulfil a useful role within a vet-led team offering a fulfilling career option as well as expanding the veterinary practice offer. BVA supports the decision to develop an evidence-base through a pilot project before final decisions are made on veterinary supervision, test types, auditing and management of ATTs.

“We look forward to hearing more detail on how the pilot will incorporate different practice sizes and models and different geographies and cover the experience of the high-risk area, edge area and low-risk area where the testing regimes have diverged.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”