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Defra confirms first outbreak of equine viral arteritis since 2012
Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in stallions and mares that have mated or been inseminated in the past 14 days.
Breeding restrictions placed on affected animals in Dorset 

Two cases of equine viral arteritis have been detected in non-thoroughbred stallions at a premises in Dorset, the UK’s chief veterinary officer has announced. It is the first time the disease has been confirmed in Britain since 2012.

Defra said the animals affected are not racehorses and there is no indication that upcoming races will be affected.

Restrictions on breeding have been placed on the animals to reduce the risk of disease spread and further investigations are ongoing. There is no risk to human health.

Chief vet Christine Middlemiss said: “We have taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading by restricting the movement of the animals and their semen. A full investigation is underway to determine the source and possible spread of the infection. Owners of mares and stallions are urged to have their animals tested before they are used for breeding.
 
“These findings remind us that we must all be vigilant for signs of disease and follow strict biosecurity measures.”

Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in stallions and mares that have mated or been inseminated in the past 14 days. Signs can include conjunctivitis, swelling of testicles or around eyes and lower legs, abortions, fever and runny nose, depression, lethargy and stiff movement. However, some horses show no clinical signs.

The disease can be spread through mating, artificial insemination, contact with aborted foetuses or via the breath of infected animals.

If a case is suspected, it must be reported immediately to the Defra rural services helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268, or in Scotland, contact the local field services office.
 

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at wellvet.co.uk until 30th August 2020.