First UK tick-borne parasite found in sheep
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