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Blowfly risk should still be viewed as “high,” experts warn
“The strike risk should still be viewed as 'high' throughout most lowland areas of the UK."

A warm, wet autumn could lead to a significant rise in cases

Blowfly strike risk remains “high” across much of the UK, according to the latest update from Elanco and the National Animal Disease Information Service.


The report shows that while a couple of areas have been downgraded to “Medium” (North Wales and East Scotland), the high blowfly population remains a threat. 


“This is probably the most difficult period to accurately forecast blowfly strike risk during the year because although fly populations remain high, egg-laying and maggot survival are highly dependent on the weather,” explained Richard Wall, professor of zoology and compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts.


“If it remains warm through September, risk will remain high, and because many of the treatments applied in early Summer are approaching the end of their period of residual protection, a warm wet autumn can lead to a big increase in strike cases.”

He continued: “The strike risk should still be viewed as 'high' throughout most lowland areas of the UK, but with appropriate note taken of the changing weather."

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


The consequences of blowfly strike can be devastating, leading to welfare problems and production losses. Figures show it can cost up to £200 to breed a replacement ewe and as much as £80 loss per lamb per death.

Farmers and health professionals seeking to guard against blowfly this year can view real-time map reports at farmanimalhealth.co.uk.

 

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.