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Blowfly risk “High” across much of the UK
"Strike risk will rise throughout July, spreading across the whole country" - Professor Richard Wall, copiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts.

Farmers urged to be vigilant against this devastating disease

Risk levels for blowfly are “High” across much of the UK, according to the latest update from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) and Elanco.

The real-time update shows risk levels are high throughout East Anglia, the Midlands, South England, North West England, North Wales, South West England and South Wales.

Some locations are also showing as “Medium", including North West Scotland, East Scotland, North East England, South West Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"As we know, hot and humid weather creates ideal conditions for strike,” said Richard Wall, professor of zoology and compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts. “Fortunately, the fly population is still relatively small because of the cool conditions in May. That will now start to change quickly.”

“Strike risk will rise throughout July, spreading across the whole country. In particular, lambs and ewes that remain unsheared will be in jeopardy. We're entering the highest period of risk for blowfly. Being vigilant and prepared is essential.”

Blowfly experts are now urging farmers to treat their flocks early in the year to prevent a build-up of flies and to reduce the devastating impact of blowfly strike.

Independent sheep veterinary consultant Dr Fiona Lovatt said: “Many farmers will wait and treat later due to perceived savings in treatment cost, but this is a false economy as the duration of efficacy for some products is so long anyway,” she said. "Treating earlier in the year means a smaller lamb and so potentially a smaller dose, which is a genuine saving."

In April 2018, an Elanco blowfly study conducted in partnership with the National Farm Research Unit found that 99 per cent of farmers have suffered financial losses as a result of blowfly stroke. More than 80 per cent agreed that blowfly season is increasing, with strike cases being reported as early as February and as late as November.

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MSD Animal Health announces three new research bursaries

News Story 1
 MSD Animal Health has announced three new research bursaries for veterinary surgeons in the areas of swine, poultry and aquaculture. The bursaries, worth up to £4,000, add to MSD's existing bursaries in ruminant and companion animal research.

Projects are expected to be completed within one to two years, and the proposals will be judged by university academics to ensure that assessment remains independent. Full project design and application guidelines, including the specific disease/subject areas, can be found on MSD Animal Health's website

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News Shorts
VMD and VPS announce joint open information day

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) have announced a joint open information day covering topics such as veterinary medicines regulations, antimicrobial resistance, scientific advice and novel therapies.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 November, the virtual event will take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars and a 'Slido' Q&A session. Links to the webinars and full instructions on how to use Slido will be available on gov.uk on 18 November. To join the mailing list for the event, email director.support@vmd.gov.uk