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BSE case confirmed in Scotland
“The fast detection of this case is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job” – Sheila Voas.
Precautionary measures have been put in place.

A single case of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been confirmed in Scotland.

The disease was detected on a farm in Ayrshire as part of routine surveillance after the animal died. The case has been described by Scotland’s chief veterinary officer as an “isolated” one.

Farmers are being urged to seek veterinary advice if they have any concerns.

As required by UK law, the cohorts and offspring of the infected cow will be humanely culled and the carcasses destroyed.

Movement restrictions have been put in place as a precaution at both the premises where the case was discovered and three other sites - the farm where the animal originated and two farms where cattle have had access to the same feed.

The Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) is investigating the origins of the outbreak. The animal, which was kept for breeding, did not enter the human food chain and Food Standards Scotland have said there is no risk to human health.

The case is the first case of classical BSE in the UK since September 2021 and only the fifth since 2014.

Scotland’s chief veterinary officer Sheila Voas said: “The fast detection of this case is proof that our surveillance system is doing its job. We are working closely with the APHA and other partners to identify where the disease came from.

“I want to reassure both farmers and the public that the risk associated with this isolated case is minimal.”

Anna Judson, British Veterinary Association president, said: “While this is clearly concerning for everyone involved in the farming industry and the veterinary profession, it shows that the comprehensive and robust veterinary surveillance system is effective in detecting potential risk, enabling the authorities to put in place appropriate precautionary measures.”

Image © Shutterstock

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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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News Shorts
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."