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Breeding for resistance may control bTB in Africa – study
Breeding for resistance could help to control bTB in Africa.
DNA analysis finds resistance is not necessarily linked to a specific breed of cattle.

Breeding for resistance to tuberculosis (bTB) may help to control the disease in Africa, according to new research.

Writing in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, researchers describe their study in which they compared the DNA of 212 cattle in Cameroon, of which 153 had tested positive for Mycobacterium bovis, the bacteria that cause bTB. 

The study revealed that some of these animals’ genetic makeup conferred a higher level of resistance against bTB. Researchers also found that while there were clusters of animals that differed in their resistance to bTB, there were no apparent differences between breeds. 

Dr Rebecca Callaby from the Centre of Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) and the Roslin Institute, said: “Our results suggest that resistance to bTB is not necessarily linked to a specific breed of cattle and that resistance to this disease is probably influenced by more than one gene. 

“We hope with further research we will better understand the factors underlying bTB resistance to help to breed healthier cattle and subsequently improve the lives of smallholders in Africa.”

Tuberculosis is estimated to infect an estimated 70,000 people ever year in Africa. In Cameroon, the prevalence is rising and, with no effective vaccine or treatment, breeding for resistance for bTB could help to control the disease.

Selective breeding has already been implemented in other countries, including the UK, where the dairy industry recently introduced a genetic evaluation index that enables farmers and breeders to select Holstein dairy bulls with greater bTB resistance.

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

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News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.