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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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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."