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Researchers celebrate progress to eradicate PPR virus
RVC researchers are working with a range of global partners to tackle PPR.
RVC shares details of research to compact this deadly disease of livestock.

Researchers are celebrating progress made in eradicating peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus globally.

PPR is a severe gastrointestinal and respiratory disease of sheep, goats and wildlife. Fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases, the condition threatens the livelihood of farmers across Africa, Asia and the Middle-east. Concerns have also been raised about its impact on biodiversity and its effect on women in particular. 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number of outbreaks of PPR has fallen by two-thirds in recent years, raising hopes for the goal of global eradication by 2030.

Researchers at the RVC say that the key to this eradication will be understanding the role of wildlife in transmission and ensuring that no persistence in wildlife infection complicates vaccine implementation in livestock. 

Working with its global partners, including the Pirbright Institute, CIRAD France, University of Glasgow, the College’s research has already led to several important findings, including: 
  • identifying a wide host range for the virus in African buffalo, antelope species and wild suids across East Africa 
  • determining estimated and true PPR virus antibody prevalence statistic for certain species in specific ecosystems
  • establishing evidence for spillover of the virus from small domestic ruminants to wildlife 
  • confirming the nature and patterns of disease in small livestock in East Africa 
  • providing important science for determining eradication policy and methods for surveillance and monitoring the disease.

Richard Kock, chair in wildlife health and emerging diseases at the RVC, said: “The PPR virus has now become the focus of the international community for the elimination of the second animal virus of economic and environmental significance by 2030 and our work has been fundamental in establishing the new global research network and strategy for this process.”

Image (C) RVC.


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Vets asked to opt-in to Scottish SPCA fostering programme

News Story 1
 The Scottish SPCA is encouraging veterinary practices to opt into its new fostering programme, by agreeing to register foster animals when approached by one of the foster carers.

The programme goes live in August 2021, and will help to rehabilitate animals under the Scottish SPCA's care until they are able to be properly re-homed. The programme will help the animals to receive care and attention in a stable and happy home environment, as some animals do not cope with a rescue and re-homing centre environment as well as others.

Specific information for veterinary practices on the new programme can be found at 

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News Shorts
Webinar provides insight into old age pets

A new webinar providing insights into the BSAVA PetSavers Old Age Pets citizen science project is now available free of charge to its members via the BSAVA Library

The webinar presents an exclusive insight into the research process and progression of the study, which aims to help veterinary professionals and owners provide the best care for their senior dogs.

It also discusses the study's research methods, the researchers' personal interests in this area of study, and how they envisage the findings being used to create a guidance tool to improve discussions between vets and owners about their ageing dogs.