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Defra confirm funding withdrawal for NED
The National Equine Database will close in September

It has been confirmed by Defra that funding for the National Equine Database (NED) will be discontinued and the system will be closed down at the end of September this year.

NED manages data from passport issuing organisations on behalf of the Government. The NED Online public website has been live since 2008 and an increasing number of users visit the site every day to search for horses, check passports and to report horses as lost, stolen and recovered.

Earlier in the year a tendering process for a new central equine database was initiated by the Government and companies were invited to submit bids. However, Defra decided that on the basis of a cost benefit analysis of the bids submitted in conjunction with the benefits of and need for a central system, the contract would not be awarded to any of the bidders and that no new central, Defra funded database would exist.

BEF’s Chief Executive, Andrew Finding, said: “Given the challenges of public expenditure we understand Defra’s decision, it is sad that they have decided not to continue to fund NED Ltd. We welcome their commitment to maintain and strengthen the requirements for Passport Issuing Organisations and address the serious issues of abandoned and fly-grazed horses and the introduction of additional measures to improve the quality and robustness of passports to protect the human food chain.”

As funding will be ceased and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.

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Glasgow given £300K funding for Zika research

News Story 1
 Researchers at the University of Glasgow's MRC Centre for Virus Research have been awarded a £300,000 grant to study the Zika virus alongside a research centre at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil.

Zika has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. It has spread to more than 20 countries in Central and South America and has been linked with microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head) in newborns.

The research teams will study the presence and epidemiology of the virus in Brazil and hope to improve understanding of how the immune system responds to infection. Their work will be used to support vaccine development studies.  

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