Official Vet: news and updates - Veterinary Practice
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Official Vet: news and updates

APHA improves its free-to-farmer carcass collection service

The APHA has increased the number of haulage companies that will collect livestock carcasses from farms free of charge for disease investigation from 7 hauliers to 29. New haulier contracts came into place on 1 April 2019, and the increase in providers means carcasses can be collected more quickly from farms for delivery to APHA post-mortem examination (PME) laboratories.

The APHA undertakes PMEs and sample testing at its six Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) or through its partner PME providers with the aim of detecting new or re-emerging animal disease threats and identifying changes in endemic disease trends.

The APHA-funded free-to-farmer carcass collection service is available in England and Wales to farms more than one hour’s drive from either an APHA Veterinary Investigation Centre or one of its PME providers. The service is provided when disease is suspected and PME of the carcass may be of surveillance value.

To access the service farmers should contact their vet who in turn should contact the duty vet at their local PME centre. If it is agreed that a PME would be beneficial, APHA or one of its PME providers will undertake this at a subsidised rate, including any further tests that need to be undertaken.

OV briefings

20 May 2019

Clarity on entering microchip reading dates when preparing pet passports

When issuing pet passports, OVs should check that the animal’s ID is correct at the time the passport is issued, but should ensure that the “date of application or reading of the transponder certified in Section III of the passport precedes any current rabies vaccination”. Where required, OVs may certify this information on the basis of evidence provided by another veterinary surgeon. Where suitable evidence is not available, the OV should make the owner aware that the current rabies vaccination would not be valid for pet travel and a new rabies vaccination would need to be administered for the pet to be compliant with EU pet travel rules.

7 May 2019

New option for OVs who fail to revalidate by the deadline

There has been an update to the requirements for the reinstatement of OV authorisation following expiry of an OCQ(V) due to failure to revalidate by the deadline. Previously, any vet whose OV status was expired due to failure to revalidate before the deadline was required to complete the full OCQ(V) course if they required reinstatement of their OV authorisation. APHA has now introduced a six-month period after each revalidation deadline during which authorisation for an expired OV qualification can be reinstated by completion of the revalidation course, rather than the full course. Vets who have missed the revalidation deadline must contact the APHA OV Team if they wish to regain their OV authorisation in this way.

3 May 2019

Revision to the requirements for Brucella abortion and anthrax sudden death enquiries

The requirements for OVs collecting samples for abortion and sudden death enquiries on behalf of APHA for Brucella and anthrax surveillance purposes have been updated. In England and Wales this is only applicable to OVs carrying out work under the Veterinary Delivery Partner contracts. Previously, OVs carrying out Brucella and anthrax enquiries have been required to hold the OCQ(V)-SS qualification. From 2 May 2019, an OV holding the OCQ(V)-ES qualification is permitted to undertake these veterinary enquiries and take samples, under the instruction of a named OCQ(V)-SS holder. The OCQ(V)-ES holder must complete specified training provided by an OCQ(V)-SS holder to be eligible to carry out these enquiries.

2 May 2019

Update on TB181/TB181 (Welsh)

The TB181 – Information Note regarding Automatic Animal and Public Health Restrictions following Disclosure of a Reactor or Inconclusive Reactor at an Official Diagnostic Test for Tuberculosis (TB) in Cattle, Buffalo or Bison – has been updated. The updates are as follows: clarification of existing content; addition of an owner’s checklist summarising the actions that cattle keepers need to take when reactor animals are found to help them prepare for reactor valuation and removal; additional advice on Resolved IRs restricted for life policy (England only); and TB compensation caps (Scotland and Wales only).

21 March 2019

Opportunities for certifying fish exports in a no-deal Brexit

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, each export consignment of animals or animal products going to the EU would require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) to be issued prior to the consignment being dispatched. EHCs are currently required for exports of these products to the “rest of the world” but not the EU. To ensure demand is met, APHA is providing free Product Exports (PX) training for OVs wishing to become eligible to certify fish consignments and sign EHCs and has launched the Official Controls Qualification for Certification Support Officers (CSOs) who can support the delivery of EHCs for animal products excluding germplasm/germinal products.

Read the full briefing notes here.

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