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BVA issues advice amid introduction of contact tracing programmes
"Continue working in fixed pairs or small teams as much as possible," BVA president Daniella Sos Santos.

Vets urged to continue working in small teams.

Veterinary professionals are being urged to continue working in small teams and to support neighbouring practices amid the introduction of COVID-19 contact tracing programmes.

The advice from the BVA comes as the UK launches contact tracing programmes to move from blanket lockdown restrictions to a more targetted approach.

Although different for each nation, each programme asks those who test positive for COVID-19 to identify people they have been in recent contact with. Those people will then be contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

'Relevant contact' is defined as spending over 15 minutes within two meters of another person or being in face-to-face contact (less than one meter) with them. As long as they meet the eligibility conditions, employees in self-isolation are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for each day they are in isolation.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said the programmes could have a significant impact on the provision of veterinary services and has called on teams to continue working in small groups 'as much as possible' to reduce the risk of transmission.

“The next step in the Covid-19 response is shifting to a more targeted approach, but it’s clear that this could have a very significant impact on individual veterinary practices if a member of the team tests positive,” she said.
“The nature of veterinary work means we are in close contact with our colleagues in order to work safely with animals.

“Many veterinary teams will be understandably anxious about the impact on their ability to staff a full rota to maintain 24/7 care. And there are significant concerns about the impact on animal health and welfare if practices are unable to provide veterinary services.

“Our advice is to continue working in fixed pairs or small teams as much as possible to reduce your contact with different individuals and continue to practise good hygiene and biosecurity."

She conitnued: “We continue to ask neighbouring practices to work together to support those impacted by self-isolation and ensure full geographical cover for veterinary services. We recognise some veterinary professionals will be worried, but we urge everyone to comply with the contact tracing programmes.” 

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Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the gov.uk website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.