BCT Special Edition Bulletin Bats and Rabies – 7th Aug20

Dear Bat Group Member,

This is a special edition bulletin from BCT to provide you with an update about the latest lyssavirus case in the UK. A case of West Caucasian Bat Lyssavirus (WCBV) in a cat in Italy and information about rabies pre-exposure vaccinations, reflecting the range of enquiries we receive.

Also below is request for help with the autumn/winter edition of Bat News

Rabies special edition bulletin from BCT

This is lengthy update but the key points are:

  • Lyssavirus has been confirmed in a soprano pipistrelle.
  • It was a small pup found in Dorset.
  • It is likely to have been a spill-over from a co-roosting serotine.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that soprano pipistrelles are a reservoir for EBLV in the same way as Daubenton’s bats and serotines.
  • Advice and guidance for bat workers (including volunteers and carers) from Public Health
  • England (PHE), the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) and BCT remains exactly the same:
  • anyone handling a bat should wear gloves,
  • anyone regularly handling bats should have pre-exposure vaccinations,
  • and anyone bitten or scratched by a bat, of any species, should seek medical advice (even if they are already vaccinated).
  • The existing pre- and post-exposure vaccines protect against EBLV-1 and EBLV-2 but are not effective against WCBV.

The full contents of this special edition bulletin are:

  1. Lyssavirus Positive Bat from Dorset
  2. WCBV Positive Cat in Italy
  3. Request for Dead Bats for APHA Passive Surveillance Programme
  4. Pre-exposure vaccinations general information (including vaccination schedules)
  5. Information for bat workers with severely impaired immune systems
  6. Pre-exposure vaccinations for volunteers
  7. Information for trainees and trainers
  8. Pre-exposure vaccinations for professional ecologists
  9. PHE guidance on timing of rabies boosters
  10. PHE and HPA leaflets
  11. BCT Advice & Guidance

If you have questions about any of the content of this special edition bulletin, the situation relating to rabies in the UK, vaccinations, the wearing of gloves, or any other related matters there is information on the BCT website at: http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/-bats_and_rabies-1099.html or you are welcome to get in touch with Lisa Worledge (email: lworledge@bats.org.uk or call 020 7820 7176).

For other special edition bulletins about bats and rabies please see the BCT website at:

Articles for autumn/winter edition of Bat News

Hello everyone. I hope you’re all well?

With winter such a long way off, it seems a little premature to be asking for articles for the autumn/winter edition of Bat News – let me assure you, a bit like Christmas, it creeps up quicker than you expect and, having to think about the editing and formatting of a magazine, it really is not too early at all.

I’m looking for articles that you think others might like to read about in the autumn/winter edition of Bat News. It could be an interesting study you’ve been involved in, a project, some research, or perhaps a roost, or habitat enhancement.

There are three types of articles required, something to go into the Spotlight on Bat Groups section, a Feature article, or a Research article.

For the Spotlight on Bat Groups articles

The length of the articles can be flexible, but it should be no longer than 300 words. Ideally this should be something the bat group have been collectively involved with.

Feature articles (one or two-page)

Feature articles should be relevant to bat conservation. The article should be easy to read and informative but not too technical or detailed. Some topics covered previously include bat-plant associations, white-nose syndrome jumps the gap, let’s get batty about gardens and many more.

  • One-page feature articles should not exceed 800 words and should include a minimum of two photographs or images.
  • Two-page feature articles should not exceed 1400 words and should include a minimum of three photographs or images.
Research Articles

The bat research article reviews a particular aspect of bat ecology or conservation and aims to give the reader an overview of the most up to date information available. This too should be easy to read and not too technical. Any technical terms that are necessary to include should be explained in a simple and easy to follow language. Examples of past articles are bat migration, social dynamics of bats, impact of wind energy facilities on bats, etc.  The research article should not exceed 850 words and should include a minimum of one photograph or image.

If you like to contribute, please send any articles to me at cmorris@bats.org.uk, likewise, if you have any questions, please use the same email address.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks in advance, and best wishes,


P.S. If we’re fortunate enough to be inundated with articles we may have to keep some ‘under-our-belts’ for a later edition.