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Suspected outbreak of avian disease in Northern Ireland
All bird keepers are urged to remain vigilant for any signs of disease in their flocks.

Testing for avian influenza and Newcastle disease is ongoing

Government officials are calling for vigilance from bird keepers following the suspected outbreak of a ‘notifiable avian disease’ in Northern Ireland (NI).

According to a statement from NI’s department of agriculture (DAERA), 'DAERA officials are currently investigating the suspected presence of a notifiable avian disease (NAD) in a broiler breeder flock in Co. Fermanagh.'

The statement added that 'a private veterinary practitioner contacted DAERA on January 2, 2020, expressing concerns related to the increased mortality of birds at the holding.
 DAERA immediately initiated a veterinary enquiry with a divisional veterinary officer visiting the holding in the evening of 2 January 2020.'

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute is currently testing samples taken from the farm. Testing for avian influenza and Newcastle disease is ongoing. 


DAERA said that officials have arranged a stakeholder meeting for Monday (6 January) where it will provide an update on the investigation and discuss the potential next steps.


'All bird keepers are urged to remain vigilant and if they suspect any signs of the disease in their flocks they must report it immediately to DAERA,' the statement continued.

'All poultry keepers, including backyard flock keepers and those keeping game birds and pet birds need to act now and maintain high levels of biosecurity at all times in order to reduce the risk of transmission of avian flu to their flocks.'

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.