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Liver fluke cases increase dramatically
Diagnoses of fluke have soared since October

The number of reported liver fluke cases soared in the last quarter of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, according to Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) figures.

Between October and December 2011, AHVLA said there was seven diagnosed cases of liver fluke, a figure that increased to 69 over the same three-month period last year. Experts say these high figures are down to mild, wet weather.

"The wet summer followed by the mild winter has provided perfect breeding conditions for fluke," said Neil Roberts, partner at a vet group in Yorkshire.

"One of the problems farmers have is there is a variety of fluke treatments and some will only kill the adult flukes. They also all have a 56-day meat withdrawal on them, so this is a problem for those fattening lambs."

Mr Roberts added that farmers should not rely on triclabendazole products all to time, to avoid developing resistance.

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group has urged farmers to continue to monitor their flocks for symptoms of fluke infection, which include an unexpected drop in fertility levels or growth rates, pale gums and bottlejaw.

The parasites fluke metacercarieae thrive in mild wet conditions, and are only killed when exposed to temperatures below -18°C for several days.

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

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News Shorts
Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk