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Report released on costs of animal disease
Public health vets voice support 

A white paper entitled The Costs of Animal Disease, released by the International Federation for Animal Health, has revealed the costs of animal disease.

The report acknowledges that some progress is being made into disease control and eradication, but calls for improved surveillance and veterinary services on a global scale, a greater understanding of regulatory effects of animal disease policies, and more improved collaboration between key stakeholders.

The paper, intended to kickstart discussion on disease impact and control, has won the support of public health vets. Andy Peters, head of GALVmed, welcomed the call for greater global collaboration and cited its importance in alleviating the impact of neglected animal diseases in developing countries, saying that "the scale of some of these diseases can be hard to comprehend."

John Lawrence, president of the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA), also voiced his support: "The need for further research, improved surveillance and an integrated stance to tackling disease, especially where it has the potential to affect human health are cornerstones in taking a one health approach. Applying these principles to the control of disease, including how regulation is drafted by governments, is paramount."

Furthermore, Kenneth Clarke, past president of the VPHA, urged the veterinary profession to back the report, saying: "The profession must ensure governments and international organisations are aware of these recommendations and should actively promote them to improve the wellbeing of animals and humans in all countries."

The report is available here

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Hedgehog project launched at Edinburgh campus

News Story 1
 The University of Edinburgh has launched a hedgehog-friendly project at its Easter Bush Campus, which is home to the Roslin Institute and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A survey is being carried out at the campus to assess how many hedgehogs are in the area. A team of around 20 volunteers installed 10 small tunnels in different locations and they will track footprints to gauge hedgehog presence.

Landscape experts are also creating habitats where the mammals can eat, shelter and breed. It is hoped that student projects will be developed at an open day on 12 October. 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Irelandís airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Irelandís animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.