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Symposium calls for collaborative approach to strangles
“There is no reason why stamping out strangles in this country cannot become a reality with a commitment to good practices" - Andie Vilela.
Experts debate how to better manage the disease

Equine welfare representatives have called for a collaborative approach to strangles, saying there is no reason why it could not be eradicated if more people were inspired to take action.

They made the call at an industry symposium which united leaders from across the equine community to discuss the better prevention and management of the disease.

Sponsored by Redwings Horse Sanctuary and The British Horse Society (BHS), with collaboration from SRUC, The University of Edinburgh, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and World Horse Welfare, the event was attended by vets, farriers, yard managers, equestrian governing bodies and welfare charities.

Attendees shared their latest research, which included updates from the AHT on promising vaccine developments, the strangles surveillance scheme, and the value of the Premium Assured Strangles Scheme for certification of yards.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Shiela Voas chaired a debate on what more the sector could do to influence good biosecurity. Topics included the larger role of vets in encouraging better practices amongst clients and whether strangles should be made ‘reportable’.

Andie Vilela, Redwings’ education and campaigns manager, said: “There has never been more information, advice and help available for horse owners to effectively prevent and tackle strangles, and yet it remains the UK’s most prevalent infectious disease with over 600 outbreaks every year.

“There is no reason why stamping out strangles in this country cannot become a reality with a commitment to good practices and actions, such as identifying and treating strangles carriers. This symposium provided the chance for representatives from the across the equine sector not only to evaluate their own practices but figure out how we can work together to inspire and support others to do more.”

The symposium, 'Together we can stamp out Strangles,’ took place at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.  

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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BVA Welsh Branch elects new president

Veterinary surgeon Ifan Lloyd was elected president of the BVA Welsh Branch at its AGM on 25 June.

Ifan has worked mainly in mixed practice since graduating from Cambridge University in 1988. He was a partner at St James Veterinary Group for 23 years and has continued to work part time at the practice since retiring in 2017.

He is passionate about animal health and disease eradication. He is a director of Cefn Gwlad Solutions, a company set up to lead bovine TB programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders. He is also director of lechyd Da (gwledig), the bTB testing delivery partner in South Wales.

Ifan said, “As a founding member of BVA Welsh Branch I am honoured and delighted to be elected as President. I have been passionate about representing the veterinary profession in Wales for many years and I plan to use this experience to represent my colleagues to the best of my abilities.”