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Avian influenza confirmed in Devon
There have been several cases of HPAI H5N8 in poultry and non-poultry across ENgland in recent weeks. 

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been declared around the premises.

A protection zone has been placed around a premises in Exmouth, Devon, after the confirmation of avian influenza in backyard poultry.

The discovery has been confirmed by government officials as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8.

An update from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on Wednesday (30 December) reads: 'Highly pathogenic (H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in backyard poultry at a premises near Exmouth, East Devon, Devon. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been declared.'

This is the eleventh case HPAI H5N8 in poultry in England. There have also been three recent cases of H5N8 in other captive birds and one case at a premises in Orkney, Scotland. Multiple species of wild birds have also tested positive for the disease in recent weeks.

All bird keepers in England are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions, including housing their birds, except in very specific circumstances.
These housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity regulations that were introduced as part of the Avian Influenza Protection Zone (AIPZ) on 11 November.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.