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New sheep and cattle group to tackle endemic diseases across UK
The RHWG will be an independent industry group, set up under the AHDB umbrella to minimise operating costs.

Industry-wide group will drive coordinated approach to health and welfare

A new UK-wide ruminant industry group is being established with the aim of advancing progress against endemic disease and reputational challenges in the sheep and cattle sectors.

The new Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHWG) will be formed on 1 April.

The creation of the group follows an industry consultation, facilitated by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) along with meat and livestock groups from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All responders agreed that discussions on how to accelerate work to control endemic diseases were positive, with many believing that the creation of this new group will speed up work to control conditions like liver fluke, mastitis and lameness.

AHDB chief technical officer Rebecca Geraghty said: “Despite a number of worthwhile initiatives and significant progress in some areas to date, endemic diseases in ruminants continue to have a major impact on our industry’s performance and profitability.

“We are in unprecedented times. Due to Brexit and potential changes to both our operating environment and consumer preferences, we face challenges and opportunities which can be better managed by a robust ruminant industry with world-leading health and welfare.

“The broad agreement from discussions with government, devolved administrations and industry over the past 18 months is that the time is right for a clear, united UK-wide industry voice. This would act as a welcome driver for a simpler, more co-ordinated and more widely committed approach to ruminant health and welfare across all parts of the UK.”

Recruitment for a chair for RHWG started on 22 January. The closing date for applications is 20 February.

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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.