First UK tick-borne par­a­site found in sheep

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY DREW SANDELANDS

CON­CERNS have been raised af­ter Glas­gow sci­en­tists found ev­i­dence of a po­ten­tially deadly tick-borne par­a­site for the first time in the UK .

The or­gan­ism – named B. ve­na­to­rum – causes babesio­sis, a dis­ease recog­nised as an emerg­ing in­fec­tion in hu­mans.

The Univer­sity of Glas­gow re­ports the or­gan­ism has now been iden­ti­fied in sheep in the north-east of Scot­land.

It has been recorded ex­ten­sively in China and in Italy but has never pre­vi­ously ap­peared in the UK.

The Euro­pean Cen­tre for Dis­ease Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol said in­fected peo­ple may get symp­toms such as flu and jaun­dice but se­vere cases can lead to death.

Wil­lie Weir, se­nior univer­sity clin­i­cian, said it “rep­re­sents a new risk to hu­mans work­ing, liv­ing, or hik­ing in ar­eas with in­fected ticks”.

GLAS­GOW is aim­ing to phase out sin­gle-use plas­tics by 2022.

The tar­get has been set in a new strat­egy which bids to free the city of all “un­nec­es­sary plas­tic” by 2030.

Glas­gow City Coun­cil has drawn up a 24-point ac­tion plan amid con­cerns over the harm­ful im­pact plas­tic is hav­ing on the nat­u­ral world.

The strat­egy fol­lows pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on plas­tic re­duc­tion ear­lier this year, which re­ceived over 1500 re­sponses and “over­whelm­ing sup­port” for ac­tion on sin­gle-use plas­tics.

Key mea­sures in­cluded in the plan are a fea­si­bil­ity study on a city­wide ban of cer­tain sin­gle use plas­tic items, de­vel­op­ing Glas­gow’s first plas­tic-free shop­ping zone, ex­tend­ing the num­ber of free top-up taps for re­fill­ing re­us­able wa­ter bot­tles, sup­port­ing projects that re­move plas­tics from the city’s wa­ter ways and ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of Glas­gow’s first plas­tic free school.

It also in­cludes a call to tighten up leg­is­la­tion on sin­gle-use plas­tics, such as plas­tic bags and plas­tic pack­ag­ing, and looks at how the coun­cil can lead by ex­am­ple on re­duc­ing the use of un­nec­es­sary plas­tics.

A com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign on how to re­duce, re­use and re­cy­cle plas­tic is a viewed as in­te­gral to achiev­ing the 2030 tar­get.

Andy Wad­dell, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for the coun­cil’s neigh­bour­hoods and sus­tain­abil­ity depart­ment, said: “Plas­tic has be­come an ever present fea­ture of mod­ern life and it has any num­ber of vi­tal ap­pli­ca­tions.

“From med­i­cal equip­ment to car safety fea­tures, com­put­ers and wheelie bins, plas­tic shows it use­ful­ness time and time again.

“But we do live in a throw­away so­ci­ety and we do take for granted the im­pact that flows from treat­ing so many plas­tic prod­ucts as in­stantly dis­pos­able.

“The plas­tic re­duc­tion strat­egy is there­fore about seek­ing al­ter­na­tives to plas­tic but also an al­ter­na­tive ap­proach to how we use plas­tic it­self.”

He added: “Plas­tic clearly has its place, but aim­ing to end the un­nec­es­sary use of plas­tic will have a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“There is al­ready a huge amount of scope for our habits to change and tech­nol­ogy is evolv­ing so quickly that our norms will be trans­formed in the years ahead.

“The ac­tion plan sets a course for rapid change in the ini­tial stages and we in­tend to up­date our plans on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. This will help us gather mo­men­tum but also re­fine and strengthen its life­span.

“The ac­tion pro­posed in the strat­egy can help Glas­gow main­tain its po­si­tion in the UK and across Europe as a lead­ing lo­cal au­thor­ity on sus­tain­abil­ity is­sues.”

End­ing the use of plas­tic where that can be avoided or an al­ter­na­tive re­us­able ver­sion of the plas­tic item ex­ists is the long-term ob­jec­tive of the strat­egy. But the coun­cil says “given the scale of the is­sue”, the 24-point plan is solely fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing progress in 2020. The plan will be up­dated and re­newed on an an­nual ba­sis.

The coun­cil will also con­tinue to roll-out the Glas­gow Cup Move­ment, which re­cy­cles and re­duces the use of sin­gle-use cups for hot drinks. An en­vi­ron­ment com­mit­tee will con­sider the plan on Tues­day be­fore it goes to the city ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mit­tee for ap­proval. the strat­egy over

The train was head­ing to Ed­in­burgh Waver­ley

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