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Government recognises test and trace challenge for vets
Veterinary professionals will not be asked to self-isolate if they have taken all safety precautions.

Practices that have taken all precautions will not be asked to self-isolate.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued updated advice to the BVA and the RCVS that recognises the challenge of test and trace for veterinary practices.

Under the new guidance, veterinary professionals in England who have taken all precautions, such as wearing appropriate PPE, will not be considered as contacts and will not be asked to self-isolate.

In the event that self-isolation is required, but would lead to a major problem with the provision of veterinary services to support animal health and welfare in the area, veterinary practices can discuss the situation with the local PHE Health Protection Team who will consider a local risk assessment.

The move comes after veterinary practices raised fears about the contact tracing programme potentially forcing them to shut down, and the impact this disruption could have in their local communities. BVA president Daniella Dos Santos, raised the issue with Defra Minister Lord Goldsmith and the UK Chief Veterinary Officer earlier this year, and they pledged to take up the matter.

Welcoming the news, Ms Santos said: “This is a huge breakthrough for veterinary practices who have been working under the fear of the contact tracing programme potentially forcing them to shut down. It’s the number one concern that members have been raising with me through our COVID Clinics and in other communications, and I’m delighted that we now have a positive outcome for them in England.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Lord Goldsmith and UK CVO Christine Middlemiss for their support in getting the new PHE guidance approved. We’ll continue to raise the issue in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and hope that a similar approach is taken."

She added: “It’s important to remember that the contact trace information is confidential so if a client or a contact outside your workplace identifies you as a contact, you may still need to self-isolate. Veterinary practices and professionals should continue to follow social distancing and biosecurity guidance."

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Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the gov.uk website. 

Click here for more...
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More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.