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Oral vaccines could help curb rabies spread - study
Researchers hope the study will help support the introduction of the oral rabies vaccination in India as an additional tool to eradicate the disease.

Three times as many dogs can be vaccinated each day

An oral rabies vaccine could provide a more efficient and cost-effective method of rabies control in countries with large stray dog populations, according to new research.

Writing in the journal Vaccine X, researchers assessed the effectiveness of oral vaccinations on dogs in Goa, India. Teams on mopeds searched for free-roaming dogs and delivered empty capsules hidden inside dog food.

The team found that three times as many dogs could be vaccinated each day when oral vaccination is combined with the current method. Each day, the team managed to reach 35 dogs, compared to just nine using the catch-vaccinate-release technique.

The study was conducted by experts from Mission Rabies, the Worldwide Veterinary Service and the University of Edinburgh.  

Some 59,000 people die annually from rabies and a further 29 million require costly treatment after being by bitten by dogs in countries where the disease is rife.

Researchers hope the study will help support the introduction of the oral rabies vaccination in India as an additional tool to eradicate the disease.

Mission Rabies founder Dr Luke Gamble, said: “Rabies has a massive impact on societies, not only from the disease but also from the fear that results. In many parts of the world, reaction to rabies cases fuels inhumane mass culls of dogs, which does nothing to combat the virus. We are showing that there is another way that benefits dogs, people and nations.”
 
Professor Mark Bronsvoort, of the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, said: “This kind of operational research is crucial in pushing the boundaries and finding a solution to the age-old problem of rabies. Dog populations vary, so it is essential that methods are evaluated methodically. We are excited that this approach could have far-reaching benefits.”

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at gov.uk