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Farmers urged to be on their guard for blowfly strike
"Good preparation for strike control and continuous vigilance are important" - Richard Wall, compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts. 
Latest update shows threat is on the rise

Farmers and animal health professionals are being warned to be on their guard for blowfly strike following the latest update from National Animal Disease Information Service and Elanco.

According to the update, risk levels are currently at “medium” across the UK. However, experts believe this is likely to increase in the imminent future.

Reports of blowfly cases by farmers on the Elanco Blowfly Strike Tracker reveal sheep struck across almost the entirety of the UK.  
Richard Wall, professor of zoology and compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts said: "Although temperatures are increasing, dry weather stops maggots surviving, particularly on lambs, and so limits strike risk. However, rain in late May or early June will seriously increase the risk, especially for ewes, so consider applying appropriate strike treatment, extra care when checking sheep or early shearing." 
 
"Blowfly populations are generally slow to build up over the early part of Spring and Summer, but warm wet weather can change the risk quickly. Good preparation for strike control and continuous vigilance are important."

Independent sheep veterinary consultant Dr Fiona Lovatt commented: "Many farmers will wait and treat later due to perceived savings in treatment cost, but this is a false economy as the duration of efficacy for some products is so long anyway.”

"Treating earlier in the year means a smaller lamb and so potentially a smaller dose, which is a genuine saving."

A study by Elanco conducted in partnership with the National Farm Research Unit found that 99 per cent of farmers have suffered financial loss as a result of blowfly strike. A further 82 per cent agreed the blowfly season is getting longer, with cases of strike being reported as early as February and as late as November.

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.