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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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Rare tarantulas hatch in world first

News Story 1
 Keepers at Chester Zoo have become the first in the world to successfully breed and hatch Monserrat tarantulas, a rare and unusual species that is native to the Caribbean island of Monserrat.

A clutch of around 200 tarantulas hatched at the zoo, providing key new information about the species.  

News Shorts
BVA course to focus on lameness

A practical course to support mixed and farm veterinary practitioners who treat lame dairy cows has been launched by the BVA.

The CPD course will be led by Dr Nick Bell, lecturer in veterinary livestock extension at the RVC, and will introduce technical details supporting the stages of the Healthy Feet Programme.

The course takes place on 6 September 2016 at Colliton Barton Training Centre, Honiton and costs £280 for BVA members and £430 for non-members.

For more information, visit www.bva.co.uk