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Hyalomma tick confirmed in untravelled UK horse
Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults.
Finding highlights importance of tick surveillance to public health 

A Hyalomma rufipes tick has been reported in the UK for the first time, scientists have confirmed.

Writing in the journal Tick-Borne Diseases, researchers said the tick had been identified as a male Hyalomma rufipes and that it had tested positive for Rickettsia aeschlimannii, a disease associated with humans in Africa and Europe.

The tick was sent to Public Health England in September 2018 for identification. It was sent by a vet who had removed it from a horse in Dorset, which had no history of overseas travel.

Researchers say the horse's lack of travel indicates this could be the first evidence of successful moulting of a Hyalomma nymph in the UK.

It has been suggested that the tick may have come into the UK via a migratory bird as an engorged nymph. The nymph was then able to complete its moult to adult stage and find a suitable host, researchers said.

‘This highlights that passive tick surveillance remains an important method for the detection of unusual species that may present a threat to public health in the UK,’ the authors conclude.

'Horses are important hosts of Hyalomma sp. adults in their native range, therefore, further surveillance studies should be conducted to check horses for ticks in the months following spring bird migration; when imported nymphs may have had time to drop off their avian host and moult to adults.’

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.