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Movement data could help control cattle diseases, study finds
Agriculture forms a major part of Uganda's econony.
Researchers analysed cattle movements in Uganda.

An international team of researchers has analysed the movement of cattle in Uganda, identifying critical hubs that could be targeted for disease surveillance.

An estimated 15.5 million cattle are kept in the East African country. Transboundary animal diseases (TADs) such as foot-and-mouth disease, bluetongue, and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, can have a major impact on livelihoods as well as animal health.

The research team, which included researchers from the Roslin Institute and the University of Makerere in Uganda, analysed cattle movement data sourced from Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

The analysis identified major trading hubs and seasonal patterns in cattle movements, information that could help authorities to manage TADs and optimise disease control measures. Based on the findings, the researchers have piloted a disease surveillance system using environmental and animal samples collected at livestock markets.

As well as publishing the results of their analysis, the researchers have also published detailed steps on how to gather and map the data, to help policymakers and other researchers.

Lina Gonzalez Gordon, first author of the study, said: “We have been contacted by groups interested in using this approach, as the analysis can be easily conducted by veterinary epidemiologists who may not have access to advanced technology and resources, but want to enhance the value of their existing data for strategic decision-making, as well as to identify gaps in their monitoring systems for livestock movements.

“By leveraging this knowledge, authorities can better safeguard livestock populations and protect the nation's agricultural economy through targeted, risk-based approaches.”

The study has been published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.