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Bluetongue restrictions eased
There have been more than 80 cases of BTV-3 since November.
Farmers are asked to remain vigilant.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has eased some of its Bluetongue virus (BTV) restrictions following a reduction in midge activity.

Infected animals are no longer being culled in cases where test results indicate an older infection and the presence of BTV antibodies. However, infected animals may still be restricted at their current locations and other measures taken to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Restrictions for moving livestock within and into the Kent and Norfolk Temporary Control Zones are also being eased. Live animals will be allowed out of the zones if they meet certain conditions, including testing negative in pre-movement tests.

The change in approach comes as the affected areas enter a seasonally low vector period. Midges, which spread the disease, are no longer feeding, and low temperatures mean that the virus cannot replicate in midges, reducing the risk of transmission further.

Surveillance measures are continuing and cases are still being detected in the existing TCZs. A new case was confirmed at a premises near Reedham in the Norfolk TCZ yesterday (6 February), bringing the total number of cases to 85 since the BTV-3 strain was first identified in England in November.

Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinary officer, said: “These detections are 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.

“We are now in a seasonally low vector period, when midge activity is much lower and there is reduced risk of disease, however I urge farmers to remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.”

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.