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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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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.