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Four more bluetongue cases confirmed in England
A total of five cases have now been confirmed in England since the start of November.

Farmers are urged to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue virus serotype 3 (BTV-3) has been confirmed in four more cows in Kent, bringing the total number of recent cases in England to five.

The four new cases are on two premises within the 10km Temporary Control Zone which was put in place earlier this month after the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute identified the first case on a farm near Canterbury.

The infected animals will be culled to reduce the risk of the disease spreading. The Temporary Control Zone remains in place.

According to APHA, there is no evidence that the virus is being spread by midges in the area.

The five cases in Great Britain follow an outbreak in the Netherlands of a new strain of BTV-3, which has spread across hundreds of farms since early September.

There is currently no effective vaccine against the new strain.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss has urged farmers to remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.

Image © Shutterstock

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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

Click here for more...
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.