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Defra confirms first outbreak of equine viral arteritis since 2012
Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in stallions and mares that have mated or been inseminated in the past 14 days.
Breeding restrictions placed on affected animals in Dorset 

Two cases of equine viral arteritis have been detected in non-thoroughbred stallions at a premises in Dorset, the UK’s chief veterinary officer has announced. It is the first time the disease has been confirmed in Britain since 2012.

Defra said the animals affected are not racehorses and there is no indication that upcoming races will be affected.

Restrictions on breeding have been placed on the animals to reduce the risk of disease spread and further investigations are ongoing. There is no risk to human health.

Chief vet Christine Middlemiss said: “We have taken swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading by restricting the movement of the animals and their semen. A full investigation is underway to determine the source and possible spread of the infection. Owners of mares and stallions are urged to have their animals tested before they are used for breeding.
 
“These findings remind us that we must all be vigilant for signs of disease and follow strict biosecurity measures.”

Equine viral arteritis is a notifiable disease in stallions and mares that have mated or been inseminated in the past 14 days. Signs can include conjunctivitis, swelling of testicles or around eyes and lower legs, abortions, fever and runny nose, depression, lethargy and stiff movement. However, some horses show no clinical signs.

The disease can be spread through mating, artificial insemination, contact with aborted foetuses or via the breath of infected animals.

If a case is suspected, it must be reported immediately to the Defra rural services helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268, or in Scotland, contact the local field services office.
 

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Dogs Trust announces winners of vet student awards

News Story 1
 Cambridge vet student James Jewkes has been awarded first place in the annual Dogs Trust EMS Awards, for his paper on the threat of exotic infectious diseases in rehoming centres. James will now go on a two-week placement at the WVS International Training Centre in South India.

Each year the awards allow vet students to gain hands-on experience during work placements at 13 of the charity’s rehoming centres, then submit reports on a relevant subject.  

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News Shorts
Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: “I’m very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sport’s commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."