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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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New 'DoggyLottery' to raise funds for rescue centres

News Story 1
 A new 'DoggyLottery' to raise funds for dog rescue centres in the UK will launch on Saturday (4 July). Every four weeks, five different rescue centres will be connected to the lottery, providing much-needed funds - particularly during COVID-19 - and providing vital online exposure.

A weekly game costs £1.50 and entrants will have the chance of being one of 20 guaranteed winners. A massive 60 per cent of the raised funds will go towards the dog rescue centres, more than double that donated by leading lottery companies to charitable causes.

To find out more and play the lottery, visit www.doggylottery.co.uk  

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News Shorts
International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."