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Bluetongue restrictions eased
There have been more than 80 cases of BTV-3 since November.
Farmers are asked to remain vigilant.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has eased some of its Bluetongue virus (BTV) restrictions following a reduction in midge activity.

Infected animals are no longer being culled in cases where test results indicate an older infection and the presence of BTV antibodies. However, infected animals may still be restricted at their current locations and other measures taken to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Restrictions for moving livestock within and into the Kent and Norfolk Temporary Control Zones are also being eased. Live animals will be allowed out of the zones if they meet certain conditions, including testing negative in pre-movement tests.

The change in approach comes as the affected areas enter a seasonally low vector period. Midges, which spread the disease, are no longer feeding, and low temperatures mean that the virus cannot replicate in midges, reducing the risk of transmission further.

Surveillance measures are continuing and cases are still being detected in the existing TCZs. A new case was confirmed at a premises near Reedham in the Norfolk TCZ yesterday (6 February), bringing the total number of cases to 85 since the BTV-3 strain was first identified in England in November.

Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinary officer, said: “These detections are an example of our robust disease surveillance procedures in action and it is also a clear reminder for farmers that the disease remains a threat, despite coming towards the end of the midge activity season.

“We are now in a seasonally low vector period, when midge activity is much lower and there is reduced risk of disease, however I urge farmers to remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.