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Horse racing cancelled after equine flu outbreak
BHA said the fact that cases were seen in vaccinated horses ‘presents a cause for significant concern’. (Stock photo)
Concern after three cases confirmed in vaccinated horses 

Horse racing on all British racecourses has been cancelled today (7 February) after an outbreak of equine influenza among vaccinated horses.

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) confirmed three positive cases in horses at an active racing yard.

According to the British Horseracing Authority, which took the decision to cancel today’s racing, horses from the infected yard raced at Ayr and Ludlow yesterday, potentially exposing a significant number of horses from yards across the country and in Ireland.

In a statement, BHA said the fact that cases were seen in vaccinated horses ‘presents a cause for significant concern over welfare and the potential spread of the disease’.

The outbreak follows reports of a number of cases across Europe and the UK, including several in vaccinated horses.

Work has been done to identify which yards could have been exposed yesterday and to take necessary actions. BHA is communicating with yards to ensure quarantine and biosecurity measures are put in place, as well as restricting horse movements to avoid possible further spread of the disease.

The full extent of potential exposure is currently unknown but BHA said it is working quickly, alongside AHT, to understand as much as possible. Any trainer with concerns about the health of their animals should contact their vet.

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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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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.