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Livestock farmers would traditionally be expecting to go into peak liver fluke season at this time of year – but experts in the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) and Control of Cattle Parasites Sustainable (COWS) groups say 2023 has been a very strange year in terms of weather patterns.


Following reports of a new strain of bluetongue virus (BTV-3) emerging and spreading rapidly in the Netherlands, there is increasing concern about the situation and its proximity to the UK.

Ruminant Health and Welfare (RH&W) has facilitated emergency meetings this week, bringing together over 40 key stakeholders and representatives from across the industry, to ensure the four nations are prepared for this emerging disease threat.


From the 13 December 2023 all livestock farmers who produce livestock or livestock products that end up in the food chain and which may be exported to the European Union will require proof of an annual vet visit.


SRUC Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department

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APHA’s International Disease Monitoring Team as on 3 October 2023:

Updated outbreak assessment #6 – Bluetongue Virus (BTV) Europe



Joseph (Joe) Henry became the new President of the Sheep Veterinary Society during the Autumn Conference held in Glasgow from 25th to 27th September. Joe takes over the role from Dave Wilson who becomes Senior Vice President as Rebecca Mearns retires from the committee. Joining the officials is new Junior Vice President Kim Hamer.




Today (September 7) sees the launch of #HealthyFeetHappySheep, an industry-wide collaboration aimed at educating and informing vets and farmers on all aspects of sheep foot health as well as some of the latest resources available.


As part of MSD Animal Health’s commitment to supporting research and innovation within the veterinary industry, we are offering the following research bursaries:




To continue to build on its role of providing practical advice for sheep farmers, vets, prescribers and advisers, the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group is offering two free-to-attend webinars in mid-July.



SCOPS would like to draw attention of vets, advisers and farmers that APHA is currently offering a reduced price on staining of trichostrongyle-type eggs in faecal egg tests (FECs) to detect haemonchus sp. eggs.



The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is looking to invest £70,000 in research covering the topic: “Breeding for better welfare: enabling human behaviour that leads to animals experiencing a better life”.


A faecal egg count (FEC) counts the number of worm eggs in faeces (dung) and is used to monitor the worm burden in sheep.

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