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Cattle vaccination will not work on its own
AHVLA scientists comment on TB vaccine

Cattle vaccination against bovine tuberculosis could offer farmers an important tool to help prevent TB infection in their herds, but it will not wipe out the disease completely.

Glyn Hewinson, chief scientist at the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), commented that he did not think that cattle vaccination "can be a strategy on its own - you have to use all the tools in your toolbox," but he added that "the level of investment that's going into the development of TB vaccines shows the commitment to develop these important tools to control TB in the UK."

Defra has budgeted £15.5 million for research into developing effective cattle TB vaccines over the next four years, and the AHVLA has developed a blood test - a DIVA test - which can distinguish between infected and vaccinated animals.

Defra is currently working with the EU to change legislation to allow a BCG cattle vaccine and the DIVA to be used in combination to tackle bovine TB, with the aim of allowing both to be used legally in the UK.

However, Defra secretary Owen Paterson has insisted that vaccination is still not a viable alternative to badger culling. Speaking at a meeting of the Conservative Rural Affairs Group, in Birmingham, he said that currently, vaccines are "not yet in a position to be deployed" in either cattle or badgers.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.