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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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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.