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Bluetongue case confirmed in Great Britain
“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA” – Christine Middlesmiss, chief veterinary officer.
Defra introduces 10km Temporary Control Zone.

A case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 (BTV-3) has been confirmed in a single cow on a farm near Canterbury, Kent.

The case, the first in Great Britain since 2007, was identified by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute through Great Britain’s annual bluetongue surveillance programme.

The cow has been culled and a 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place which restricts the movement of cattle, sheep and other ruminants. The Government is urging farmers to be vigilant.

Since the start of September, a new strain of BTV-3 has affected hundreds of farms in the Netherlands, with cases also reported in Belgium and Germany. There are restrictions in place on the movement of livestock from affected regions.

The infected animal had not been imported.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “Bluetongue does not pose a threat to human health or food safety, but the disease can impact livestock farms, and cause productivity issues.

“This detection is an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action and it is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the midge activity season.

“Farmers must remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.”

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease. Suspected cases must be reported to APHA on 03000 200 301.

Image © Shutterstock


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RCVS Knowledge appoints Veterinary Evidence editor-in-chief

News Story 1
 RCVS Knowledge has welcomed Professor Peter Cockcroft as editor-in-chief for Veterinary Evidence.

A world-renowned expert in evidence-based veterinary medicine, Prof Cockcroft will lead the strategic development and editorial quality of the open-access journal. He was previously in the role from 2017-2020.

Katie Mantell, CEO of RCVS Knowledge, said: "We are excited about the extensive knowledge of evidence-based veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary research that Peter brings, and we look forward to working with him over this next phase of the journal's development." 

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News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.