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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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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at wellvet.co.uk until 30th August 2020.