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Poultry Hub to combat increasing risk of zoonotic disease
The Hub recognises that animal, human and environmental health are interconnected.
Initiative aims address increasing demand for eggs and poultry meat 

A new initiative has been launched to help combat the ever-increasing risk of zoonotic disease.

Researchers say The One Health Poultry Hub has been formed in response to global concerns over the potential for animal pathogens to emerge and ‘spill over’ into humans.

Funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund, its focus on poultry is representative of the challenges that antimicrobial resistant (AMR) diseases and avian influenza represent and the impact they have on society.

Professor Munir Iqbal, head of the Avian Influenza Virus research group at The Pirbright Institute, is among the international experts that have formed the hub.

“I am excited to be part of the One Health Poultry Hub, which will create a network of collaborative research whose mission is aligned with that of The Pirbright Institute – to prevent and control diseases of livestock and those that spread from animals to humans,” he said.

Through adopting a ‘One Health’ approach, the Hub recognises that animal, human and environmental health are interconnected and that a collaborative approach to the research, policy and management of zoonoses is required.

One of the Hub’s aims will be to address the increasing demand for eggs and poultry meat in developing countries in a way that is safe and sustainable. Because this is most pressing in South and Southeast Asia, researchers will work in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam as part of a global network that involves 50 groups.

Professor Iqbal added: “The links between all the groups involved will mean researchers are able to tap into different research and collaborations that will advance our understanding and efforts to prevent and control avian influenza and antimicrobial resistant diseases now and in the future.”

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”