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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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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for 3 months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk