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Bovine TB continues to decline in Wales
Wales aims to eradicate bTB by 2041.
Minister gives annual statement on eradication programme.

Incidents of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) are continuing to decline in Wales, rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths revealed in an update to the Senedd.

Making her annual statement on the TB eradication programme on Tuesday, 14 November, the minister said that new incidents had decreased by more than 18 per cent in the 12 months to June 2023 compared to the same period five years ago. The number of animals slaughtered for TB control also dropped by almost five per cent.

The latest figures show that there were 609 new herd incidents in Wales in the year to June 2023.

The Welsh government is aiming to eradicate bTB in the country by 2041. In March, it published a new five-year TB Delivery Plan to increase collaboration between farmers and veterinary surgeons.

The Pembrokeshire TB Project, part of the TB Delivery Plan, received praise from the minister as “an excellent example of a collaborate, industry-led initiative.” Six local veterinary practices are working with 15 farms to develop tailored measures for herds, including improved biosecurity and ways to manage high-risk animals.

The minister also revealed that she has asked officials to look at the on-farm slaughter policy, after listening to concerns that the slaughter of heavily pregnant cows and heifers can be distressing to witness.

Ms Griffiths said: “Whilst the picture of bovine TB is ever changing, I would like to emphasise the important, long-term trends show fewer affected herds and new herd incidents across Wales as a whole.

“As I emphasised in March, the Delivery Plan is centred on partnership working. TB will not, and cannot be eradicated by Government acting alone.

“Just as no two farms are the same, no two TB breakdowns are identical, and we do see variations in TB levels in different parts of Wales. Therefore, farmers working closely with their vet is crucial to both protect herds and keep TB out, as well as tackling the disease if it does occur.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.