Spain reports first avian flu case in birds

first_imgJul 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Spain today became the latest country to join the list of nations responding to outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza, as officials reported finding the virus in a wild bird.In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Spanish officials said highly pathogenic H5N1 strain had been confirmed in a sample taken from a great crested grebe that was found dead Jun 30 in the Salburua wetlands in Alava province. The diagnosis was established by the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Algete.To control the outbreak, a 3-kilometer protection zone around the site has been established, and surveillance will be conducted within 10 km. Authorities have banned movement of poultry and hunting of wild birds within the zone and are monitoring natural areas for any further bird deaths.Spain is the 14th European Union member to report H5N1 avian flu in birds, on the basis of information from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.An outbreak of avian influenza is a particular concern in Spain because, according to a Bloomberg News report today on the outbreak, Spain is Europe’s biggest tourist destination.In other avian flu developments this week:Canadian authorities reported that final virological tests on samples from a dead gosling were negative.The OIE announced that avian influenza had recurred among ostriches in South Africa.Thailand said it hoped to be free of avian influenza in 3 years.Canada ends testing of Prince Edward Island birdsThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Jul 5 that further testing related to a suspected H5 avian flu outbreak in Prince Edward Island had revealed no evidence of the virus.Authorities had announced Jun 16 that preliminary tests had indicated an H5 virus in a gosling, one of four birds that had died in a backyard flock. The positive test led authorities to destroy the rest of the flock and raised concern about the threat of H5N1 spreading to North America. But officials reported on Jun 20 that further tests at Canada’s avian flu reference laboratory in Winnipeg, Man., were negative.In the latest announcement, the CFIA said attempts to culture the virus from samples from the gosling had failed. The agency said testing was finished, and a quarantine on the affected site was lifted.South African ostriches have H5N2 virusAn H5N2 strain of avian flu has been confirmed on an ostrich farm in South Africa, according to a report that officials filed with the OIE. The virus was identified Jul 1 in eight ostriches on the farm in Riversdale, Western Cape province.In his notice to the OIE, South Africa’s senior manager of animal health, Bothe Modisane, said surveillance indicated that the outbreak was probably limited to the farm where the disease was detected. He reported that the farm was quarantined and that all 58 ostriches there were destroyed on Jul 1. Culling of all other poultry on the farm was completed on Jul 3. The source of the infection was not known.In 2004, a similar outbreak of H5N2 in ostriches stopped all poultry exports from South Africa. That outbreak killed 2,000 ostriches on two farms, and officials planned to destroy 6,000 remaining ostriches on the farms.Highly pathogenic strains of H5N2 virus have caused a number of past outbreaks in birds, though none in humans. H5N2 viruses were blamed for outbreaks in Pennsylvania (1983-85), Mexico (1994-95), Italy (1997), Texas (2004), and South Africa (2004), according to the World Health Organization. In addition, Japan had H5N2 outbreaks in poultry in 2005.Thai official offers optimistic projectionThailand’s agriculture minister said yesterday the country hopes to be completely free of avian influenza virus in 3 years. The Thai official, Sudarat Keyuraphan, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the country has gone 239 days without an outbreak.”If we are able to control the virus for the rest of this year, we will have fewer worries next year, and I am confident that Thailand will be free from the bird flu virus within three years,” Keyuraphan told AFP. She said the 239-day outbreak-free stretch is notable, given that surrounding countries continue to report the disease.According to the AFP report, Thailand has recruited 900,000 volunteers to help with prevention efforts, including regularly spraying disinfectant around poultry farms.In May 2005, Thai officials declared the country free of the H5N1 virus, but more poultry outbreaks were reported the following July, and new human cases emerged in the fall.See also:Jul 7 OIE report on avian influenza in Spainhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.phpJun 21 CIDRAP News article “Further tests show no avian flu in Canadian flock”Jul 3 OIE report on avian influenza in South Africahttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.phpAug 6, 2004, CIDRAP News article “Avian flu hits ostriches in South Africa”May 5, 2005, CIDRAP News article on Thailand’s avian flu battlehttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/avianflu/news/may0505avflu.htmllast_img read more

Guyana Karate College to host 2019 Caribbean Karate Cup

first_imgTHE Guyana Karate College (GKC) will host the IKD Guyana Caribbean Karate Cup from August 23 to 25 at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.To date, over 100 athletes from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela confirmed their participation, while Guyana, according to a release, will field approximately 100 karatekas.The regional karatekas will compete in individual events like kata, which is a choreographed pattern of movements, as well as kumite or sparring.There will also be several team events, including kata, kumite, along with bunkai (formal application of kata) and enbu (practical applications of bunkai fighting techniques) events. Participants will compete for medals, and the country with the highest gold medal count will win the coveted Caribbean Cup trophy.Speaking about the upcoming tournament, Guyanese Shuseki Shihan (World Karate Master) Frank Woon-A-Tai, 9th Dan, M.S., head of the International Karate Daigaku (IKD) organisation with 70 regions in 50 countries worldwide said, “This will be another milestone in the history of traditional karate in Guyana and the region. Several eighth and seventh dan masters will be attending to support fair judging, and competition will be fierce.”“However, I respectfully appeal to all competitors and spectators to remember that the aim of the Art of Karate is not in winning or losing, but in the development of the character of all participants. We teach discipline and the strongest karate along with moulding good citizens – Character, Sincerity, Effort, Etiquette and the Most Important Rule – Self Control,” Woon-A-Tai noted.Admission is $500 and the GKC expects the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to be packed to full capacity. The action begins at 09:00hrs. on Saturday, August 23, with all kata, enbu and bunkai events. Beginning at the same time on Sunday, August 24, will be kumite events along with bunkai and enbu demonstrations.The opening march-on ceremony will also take place on Sunday.last_img read more

Sportech H1 2019 revenues hampered by “venues’ challenges”

first_imgShare Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Retail closures have ‘severe’ impact on Playtech August 5, 2020 Submit International betting tech firm Sportech has published its interim results for the six months ended 30 June. The figures, which came in lower year-on-year, reflect an ongoing period of transition for the company as it moves towards a more digitized business, while removing cost to increase efficiencies. Revenue growth in Racing, Bump 50:50 and Lottery were all, it said, offset by “venues’ challenges”.Total Group revenue for the half was £32.6m versus £33.2m in 2018, while EBITDA before sports betting investments of £4.3m and adjusted EBITDA of £3.4m were down from £4.4m and £3.9m in 2018. The adjusted EBITDA in 2019 includes £0.9m of costs related to sports betting, up from £0.5m in 2018.The firm noted that corporate costs had further reduced by 22% in the period, with positive decisions taken to restructure the business resulting in exceptional cash outflows of £1.5m, down from £1.7m year-on-year. Group net cash was £11.8m as of June 30, 2019, against £14.7m on December 31, 2018. The Board’s current outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.In its executive summary, Playtech stated that the Tote, its core pool wagering business, has demonstrated growth, with Global Pool and World Pool initiatives now delivered. The challenges facing venues, specifically in terms of operational leverage, were being tackled via cost management, asset review and strategic initiatives it said. Lottery, meanwhile, was cited as delivering stable growth with “opportunities emerging following acquisition”. The Bump 50:50 market position, noted the firm, has been strengthened with record client acquisitions. H1 investment is core to growth plans it added.CEO Richard McGuire said: “2019 marks a year of transition for Sportech with a clear focus on challenging the predominantly ‘industrial’ culture, whilst driving efficiencies and delivering a range of products that enhance user experience. “Sportech has made good progress in the period, with the group’s senior management team bolstered to help ensure accountability and increased effectiveness across every business line. Rigorous cost management remains a core focus for the group and the Board expects to see further benefits going forward from the measures already taken.“Further digitisation across existing and new business lines, the elimination of certain expensive strategies, the implementation of a lower operational cost base, and an enhanced global suite of products form the roadmap for H2, positioning the group for 2020 and beyond. Management remain committed to delivering a superior product range to our global clients and remain confident about the group’s future potential.”Sportech’s H1 performance has not been helped by lack of movement towards legalised sports betting in Connecticut where it has invested significant energy and focus. “The situation remains complex and despite diligent efforts from numerous stakeholders, legislation was not passed during the regular legislative session, which ended in early June 2019” it said. “The group continues to work with state legislators and established state licensed gaming operators to seek a solution and deliver a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework for Sports Betting, either through a 2019 special session or in H1 2020.” Share Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articleslast_img read more