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Liver fluke warning for cattle and sheep farmers
"The need to stay vigilant and keep using the tests available to monitor the situation on farms has never been greater." - Statement from SCOPS and COWS.

Recent weather patterns have led to evidence of infection in the UK.

Following reports of evidence of liver fluke in some parts of the country, cattle and sheep farmers are being urged to stay vigilant and monitor the situation closely.

According to the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) and Control of Cattle Parasites Sustainably (COWS) groups, sub-acute cases in sheep, caused by migrating immature fluke, have been reported in North West England.

APHA has also identified cases in the Midlands and Cumbria and positive fluke egg counts are starting to be seen in the West of Scotland. This, according to the groups, suggests the presence of adult fluke.

Testing of first season grazing lambs and calves by the University of Liverpool has revealed 'significant' variation between individual farms, even in the same counties.

Different results can also be seen in different groups of animals grazed on different parts of the farm. This, according to SCOPS and COWS, highlights how important it is to test livestock before treatment.

At this time of year, the groups state that the preferred option of testing for liver fluke is testing of faeces using either the fluke egg count or the coproantigen test.

According to the statement from SCOPS and COWS: “These tests can be applied to any age or management group of sheep and cattle and are relatively straightforward samples to collect. Faecal testing from late autumn through to spring will tell farmers whether or not treatment is needed, and help guide the timing of treatment and product choice.”

If results come back positive, farmers are advised to discuss appropriate products for treatment with a veterinary surgeon or Registered Animal Medicines Advisor.

SCOPS has produced further information on treating liver fluke, which can be accessed here.

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WellVet launches spring series of wellbeing talks

News Story 1
 A new spring series of wellbeing talks designed to tackle some of the issues faced in veterinary practices is launching on Saturday (27 February). Hosted by WellVet and Boehringer Ingelheim, the talks will focus on simple, practical tips to improve personal and team wellbeing.

Six 30-minute presentations will be hosted by leading coaching professionals, including Libby Kemkaran, Adrian Nelson-Pratt and occupational psychologist professor Elinor O'Connor. The events will be streamed live on the WellVet Facebook page and can be watched back at any time. For more information, visit wellvet.com 

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News Shorts
2021 NOAH Compendium now available

The 2021 edition of the NOAH Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines has been published.

Published annually by NOAH, this book is sent to every veterinary practice in the UK for free. The 2021 edition includes an even larger range of products than previous years.

Chief executive Dawn Howard stated that NOAH will shortly be launching a survey for practices on the Compendiums effectiveness.

She added: "Our survey will give users of the Compendium the opportunity to say how they think we can improve it to assist them in prescribing veterinary medicines and advising animal keepers on their use. We look forward to getting your views."