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Blowfly strike risk 'medium'
Blowfly strike still remains a very real threat

Real-time updates on blowfly risk

Ongoing collaboration between Elanco and NADIS (National Animal Disease Information Service) show the blowfly strike risk level as ‘medium’ across most of the country, with only a couple of areas downgraded to ‘low’.

However, blowfly strike still remains a very real threat – temperatures remain high and many preventive medicines applied in the summer will no longer be protecting the animals.

Reports of blowfly cases continue to be added to the Blowfly Strike Tracker from across the country.

Richard Wall, professor of zoology and compiler of the Blowfly Risk Alerts, says: "The warm and wet autumn is keeping the strike risk higher than this time last year. Blowflies need temperatures of above 12°C to be able to lay eggs, so while the current weather persists, the threat from strike will remain real.
“Farmers therefore need to maintain vigilance, particularly since most treatments applied in summer will not still be protecting animals at this stage of the season."

The current regional alert breakdown is as follows:

  • NW Scotland – Low
  • E Scotland – Low
  • NE England – Med
  • E Anglia – Med
  • The Midlands – Med
  • S England – Med
  • SW Scotland – Med
  • NW England – Low
  • N Wales – Low
  • SW England – Med
  • S Wales – Med
  • N Ireland – Med

Low = no significant risk
Medium = 1 in 2,500 animals might be struck
High = 1 in 500 animals might be struck
Severe = 1 in 100 animals might be struck

“When farmers are looking at treatment options, they need to look the longest protection with an IGR that binds to the fleece. It is now possible to get 19 weeks blowfly strike prevention,” says independent sheep veterinary consultant, Dr Fiona Lovatt. “The costs of inaction when it comes to blowfly strike far outweigh the costs of protection – the time to act is now.”

Results of 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 strike. While 82 per cent agree 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 production losses and welfare problems. By comparison, preventing blowfly strike using a long-lasting product can offer not only peace of mind but can also be economical in terms of time, money and effort.


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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.