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Blowfly risk should still be viewed as “high,” experts warn
“The strike risk should still be viewed as 'high' throughout most lowland areas of the UK."

A warm, wet autumn could lead to a significant rise in cases

Blowfly strike risk remains “high” across much of the UK, according to the latest update from Elanco and the National Animal Disease Information Service.


The report shows that while a couple of areas have been downgraded to “Medium” (North Wales and East Scotland), the high blowfly population remains a threat. 


“This is probably the most difficult period to accurately forecast blowfly strike risk during the year because although fly populations remain high, egg-laying and maggot survival are highly dependent on the weather,” explained Richard Wall, professor of zoology and compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts.


“If it remains warm through September, risk will remain high, and because many of the treatments applied in early Summer are approaching the end of their period of residual protection, a warm wet autumn can lead to a big increase in strike cases.”

He continued: “The strike risk should still be viewed as 'high' throughout most lowland areas of the UK, but with appropriate note taken of the changing weather."

A study by Elanco and the National Farm Research Unit found that 99 per cent of farmers have suffered financial losses as a result of blowfly strike. A further 82 per cent agreed that the blowfly season is getting longer, with cases of strike being reported as early as February and as late as November.


The consequences of blowfly strike can be devastating, leading to welfare problems and production losses. Figures show it can cost up to £200 to breed a replacement ewe and as much as £80 loss per lamb per death.

Farmers and health professionals seeking to guard against blowfly this year can view real-time map reports at farmanimalhealth.co.uk.

 

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Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

Click here for more...
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Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.