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Vet becomes first woman to complete Barkley Marathons
Jasmin Paris works as a vet and senior lecture at the Royal (Dick) School.
Jasmin Paris finished race with just seconds to spare.

A veterinary surgeon from Scotland has become the first woman to complete the 100-mile Barkley Marathons.

Jasmin Paris finished the race, which has a 60-hour time limit, in 59 hours 58 minutes and 21 seconds.

When not competing in ultramarathons and other endurance events, 40-year-old Dr Paris works as a small animal veterinary surgeon and senior lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The Barkley Marathons race is held each year at Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee, USA, and features a series of unusual customs. The race begins when the race director lights a cigarette. The runners then attempt to complete five loops of the 20-mile track.

On the way, the competitors have to rip out pages from books placed along the course to prove that they have followed the route.

Since it began in 1986, only twenty people have finished the race within the time limit. When she competed in 2022, Dr Paris achieved three loops of the race. The next year, she became the first woman to attempt a fourth loop, but was unable to complete it in time.

Dr Paris has previously set records in a number of endurance events. Among her many achievements, she set a new race record for the 268-mile Spine Race across the Pennine Way in 2019 and has broken records in the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round.

Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “It is an honour to call Jasmin a colleague and we were all delighted to hear the news from the Barkley Marathons.

“Everyone at the university sends their huge congratulations to Jasmin. She is truly an exceptional sportsperson and is an inspiration to our whole university community.”

Image © University of Edinburgh

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."