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Vets issue toxic blue-green algae warning
The BVA has issued its annual warning to pet owners over risks of deadly blue-green algae.

BVA is reminding dog owners to be alert and aware.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued its seasonal warning to pet owners over toxic blue-green algae.

Pet owners are encouraged to take extra precautions when walking dogs around freshwater bodies, as blue-green algae growth poses a fatal risk to the animals.

The BVA is advising owners:

  • look out for any warning signs put up by the responsible national environmental agency or local authority near water bodies
  • keep pets on a lead and by your side around water bodies known or suspected to have a blue-green algal bloom – don't let pets swim in it or drink from it
  • if your dog has been swimming outside, wash its coat thoroughly with clean water afterwards
  • seek emergency veterinary treatment if you're concerned your pet may have ingested toxic algae
  • report sightings of suspected blue-green algae with a photograph via the Bloomin' Algae app. You can also set up notifications for confirmed sightings in your area.


Justine Shotton, BVA president, explained to dog owners: “Many dogs love nothing more than a paddle in a lake to cool off in this weather, but we’d urge pet owners to keep them on a lead during walks near water bodies confirmed to have algal blooms this summer. 

“The majority of blooms are toxic and it is impossible to tell the difference visually, so it is better to be safe than sorry.”

As the BVA highlights, there have been recent reports of algal bloom sightings in lakes, ponds and rivers across the UK, with around 50 confirmed locations identified by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) on its Bloomin' Algae app.

Dr Shotton reminded pet owners of the symptoms, reiterating the importance of being aware of them. She said: “These commonly include vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, disorientation, trouble breathing, seizures, and blood in faeces. 

“They can appear within a few minutes or hours of exposure, depending on the type of toxin ingested, and can cause liver damage and ultimately be rapidly fatal if left untreated.

“There is currently no known antidote for the toxins, so dog owners should seek prompt veterinary treatment to tackle their effects and ensure a good chance of recovery for their pet.”

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

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News Shorts
Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk