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Vets receive funding boost to tackle BVD
Vets that have already signed up to the scheme have pledged to engage 8,000 farmers in active BVD control by 2020.
Around £6m in funding to help contain contagious disease

Vets in England have been given £5.7 million in funding as part of a campaign to tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The Stamp It Out project was launched by Defra in summer 2018 and has so far recruited 120 veterinary practices across England to offer the programme to farmers.

Neil Carter of SAC Consulting, which is delivering the project, said: “To have allocated all of the money only six months into delivery is fantastic. It shows that the industry has a real desire to control and eradicate the disease from our national herd.”

Under the scheme, farmers can access up to £530 of their vet’s time to investigate BVD either on a one-to-one basis or through a series of cluster meetings. They can also access £61.80 for preliminary testing work and up to £440 where there is evidence of persistently infected animals.

Vets that have already signed up to the scheme have pledged to engage 8,000 farmers in active BVD control by 2020.

Neil continued: “My advice for farmers is to speak to your vet to find out whether they have signed up already. Any vets contacting us to get involved from now on will be put on a waiting list, and we will wait and see if any vets already engaged struggle to sign up their clients.

“On current experience, though, vets have come back asking for more funding rather than less.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “Nearly £6 million of funding has already been allocated as part of the Stamp It Out initiative, highlighting that our vets clearly understand the need to eradicate this damaging disease.

“Bovine Viral Diarrhoea has a real impact on productivity, cattle health and welfare and can carry significant costs for farmers. We are pleased that we have been able to provide this funding for farmers to get help in tackling BVD and reducing their costs and anti-microbial use.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.