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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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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”