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Warning issued over later than normal liver fluke
Farmers are advised to ask their veterinary surgeon or adviser about which test is right for their farm.
Last year's weather patterns have led to recent rise in cases.

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) and Control of Cattle Parasites Sustainable (COWS) have warned farmers to be vigilant about the current risk of liver fluke.

The weather patterns of 2023, which included a cold dry spring, a wet July and August, a September heatwave, and heavy rain in late autumn and early winter, have pushed the fluke risk later into the winter.

Abattoirs, post mortem providers and laboratories have been reporting increasing numbers of cases since late November, although overall numbers are not high.

John Graham-Brown of the University of Liverpool said: “The NADIS liver fluke forecast mostly predicted low to medium risk in the normal development period, but the delayed threat this autumn means we are concerned some livestock farmers may get caught out, either because they treated too early or have had negative test results earlier in the autumn and think they are safe.”

Diana Williams, also of the University of Liverpool, added: “At this stage of the year (January/February), when we would expect adult flukes to be present in the livers of infected livestock, we can also use faecal testing methods.

“Dung samples can be tested for an antigen produced by the liver fluke (coproantigen) and of course the detection of fluke eggs is also a valuable tool. Ask your vet or adviser which test is most appropriate for your farm and never rely on a single negative test, particularly if you have had problems in the past.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.