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APHA lifts bluetongue Temporary Control Zones
There have been more than 100 confirmed cases of bluetongue since November.
Surveillance procedures remain in place.

From today (19 February), the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) has lifted the Temporary Control Zones (TCZs) brought in to tackle the spread of bluetongue.

However, APHA says that officials will stay in close contact with livestock keepers within the affected areas in Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent.

Restrictions will remain in place for positive high-risk animals and for premises that were in the TCZs which are yet to be sampled. Surveillance efforts and epidemiological assessments will also continue.

The easing of restrictions comes at a time when the risk of the disease spreading is considered to be low due to a seasonal drop in midge activity.

The Kent TCZ had been in place since November 2023, when a case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 was confirmed in a cow near Canterbury. The Norfolk TCZ was introduced in December and was later expanded to include part of Suffolk. As of today, there have been 112 cases.

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, said: “We are now in a seasonally low vector period, when midge activity is much lower and there is reduced risk of disease, meaning we can lift the temporary control zones.

“However, our robust disease surveillance procedures continue, and I urge farmers to remain vigilant and report any suspicions to APHA.”

Aled Edwards, APHA’s head of field delivery England, added: “APHA teams will continue to work closely with farmers to ensure that keepers and businesses are kept up to date, and that questions and concerns are addressed promptly.”

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.