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Northern Ireland considering culling badgers
£4 million research programme to be commissioned

Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has responded to recent criticism from the Ulster Farmer's Union (UFU) of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) policy on badger culling as a means of countering the spread of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) by confirming that controlling the disease is a 'key priority'.

Ms O'Neill stated that “We are investing around £4million to commission a programme of TB and wildlife research and studies towards the ultimate aim of eradicating TB in cattle. We will use the evidence produced by this programme to inform a comprehensive approach that deals with all aspects of TB and will help to reduce the level of disease in cattle.”

“We already have a rigorous EU Commission approved eradication programme in place. We also need to build a sound evidence base to underpin further interventions in cattle and/or wildlife that could help to reduce TB as part of our eradication programme.” the Minister added.

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WSAVA to extend 'One Care' project to new regions

News Story 1
 Following the success of WSAVA's 'One Care' initiative in Asia, the organisation plans to extend it to new regions. The project has been running for three years and aims to improve standards of care in countries where companion animal practice is still emerging. Among other successes, in the past 12 months, One Care has seen the Veterinary Practitioners of Thailand develop its own hospital standards, and the Philippines Animal Hospital Association develop an animal welfare assessment framework.

One Care leader Dr Siraya Chunekamrai is planning an initiative with the Cambodian Veterinary Medical Association, which is keen to develop the profession in the country during 2017. 

News Shorts
Pirbright Institute takes delivery of new supercomputer

The Pirbright Institute has taken delivery of a new supercomputer which will help to process and analyse the huge amounts of data generated by its research projects.

Genome research manages massive amounts of data, which requires vast computer processing and storage capacity.

Researchers say that by eliminating the bottlenecks that often occur in data analysis, it will be possible to generate information about increasing numbers of viral diseases.