Journal news

'Vet salaries are falling behind others

Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

By Josh Loeb and Eleanor Brad

Average vet salaries are ‘pretty crap’, a top equine vet has said.

How other jobs match up

  • Aldi area manager: The budget supermarket’s graduate programme offers a salary of £44,000, plus a company car, rising to £76,495 after five years.

  • Train driver (London Underground): The average base pay of a Tube driver is £55,000, but most drivers on the London Underground earn between £60,000 and £70,000 in ‘total remuneration’, which also includes overtime, bonuses and pension contributions.

  • Train driver (mainline railway): The average annual base pay of a train driver is £54,184, according to aggregator Glassdoor, but some drivers can earn significantly more than that. Virgin Trains offers £53,826 per annum, rising incrementally to a maximum of £67,486 after one year.

  • GP: The minimum annual salary for a full-time salaried GP working 37.5 hours or nine sessions per...

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    'More funding is needed for vet degrees

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    Any increase in the number of vet students in the UK must be backed up by more government funding for vet schools, the BVA has warned.

    The cost of providing vet education exceeds vet schools’ income

    The association said the high cost of providing undergraduate veterinary education currently exceeds vet schools’ income from students’ tuition fees and government financial backing.

    Total funding received by vet schools per UK or EU student they enrol is currently £19,500 in England and £16,875 in Scotland (the issue is devolved).

    However, the Veterinary Schools Council estimates that the full cost of delivering veterinary education is well in excess of £20,000 per student, per year of study.

    The number of places for vet students is also not capped, and government funding for veterinary education is not calculated per capita – meaning funding does not automatically increase if a new vet...

    Categories: Journal news

    RUMA launches new task force for post-2020 targets

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) has convened a new task force to set fresh post-2020 targets for reducing on-farm antibiotic usage even further.

    RUMA’s secretary general Chris Lloyd said most targets set for the eight different livestock sectors looked at by RUMA’s original task force in 2016 had already been met.

    Therefore, many of the ‘easier battles’ have been won, making the next phase of target setting ‘more complex’, although ‘just as important’, RUMA said in a press release.

    Lloyd added: ‘With some sectors now at, or fast approaching, lowest potential use without risking animal health and welfare or food safety, I think we will see far more focus on ways to demonstrate the quality of management and the health and welfare of the animal.’

    The new iteration of the task force will look at 10 livestock groups, with calves introduced as a discrete focus...

    Categories: Journal news

    Have brachy breeds fallen out of fashion?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    By Kathryn Clark

    Registrations of pug puppies fell by 31 per cent in the first six months of this year, according to new figures from the Kennel Club.

    The club’s statistics for January to June 2019 recorded 3497 pug puppy registrations, down from 5061 for the first six months of 2018. Registrations of bulldogs fell by 7 per cent (from 5054 to 4719) and French bulldogs by 8 per cent (from 17,061 to 15,785) in the same timeframe.

    Instead, miniature smooth-haired dachshunds seem to be increasing in popularity. Registrations of puppies of this breed increased by 23 per cent in comparison with 2018, rising from 3042 in January to June 2018 to 3736 over the same period of 2019.

    Dan O’Neill, chair of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), which aims to raise awareness of the health and welfare issues experienced by flat-faced dogs, described the decrease in flat-faced breed...

    Categories: Journal news

    Celebrating excellence in the profession

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    By Georgina Mills

    The shining stars of the profession were celebrated this month with awards presented at both BVA Members’ Day and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress.

    Several outstanding individuals were recognised at BVA Members’ Day, which took place in Swansea on 19 September.

    The Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal is considered the BVA’s most esteemed scientific award. This year’s recipient was David Noakes for his contribution to the field of veterinary reproduction and obstetrics.

    Noakes’ career spans 60 years. Starting work in mixed and farm animal practice, he later became a research scientist in the physiology and biochemistry section of Unilever’s Research Laboratory, vice principal and, later, professor of veterinary obstetrics and diseases of reproduction at the Royal Veterinary College.

    He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, and is coauthor/editor of the textbook ‘Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics’, which is now in its 10th edition.

    The Chiron Award...

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    Vet Record Impact Award

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    The Vet Record Impact Award recognises the research paper published in Vet Record over the past 12 months that is considered likely to have the most significant practical impact.

    The winners this year were Andrea Turner from Bristol university, David Tisdall from Surrey university and colleagues from Bristol university for their paper ‘Ceasing the use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials does not adversely affect production, health or welfare parameters in dairy cows’ (

    The research followed seven dairy farms over a period of six years that had committed to ceasing the use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials and reducing the use of other antimicrobials. Health and production data were tracked and the results showed that the ceasing of these critically important antimicrobials had no adverse effects on welfare and production on the dairy farms studied.

    (from left) Vet Record editor Adele Waters,...

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    All change at the top for BVA

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    BVA’s officer team for 2019/20 was elected at the association’s AGM, which took place during Members’ Day. Daniella Dos Santos (centre) took over as president from Simon Doherty (right), who became senior vice president. James Russell (left) joined the officer team as junior vice president.

    Categories: Journal news

    Snap happy: BVAs 2019 photo competition is another success

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    With more than 400 entries to choose from, the judges of this year’s BVA photo competition had a tough job to pick two winning images. Georgina Mills reports

    Categories: Journal news

    Kitten checklist launches

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    The BVA is urging vets to back a new ‘kitten checklist’ designed to help prospective owners spot signs of ill health and understand cat behaviour.

    The scheme mirrors the puppy contract, which is designed to help those purchasing a puppy to do so responsibly and choose a reputable breeder.

    It is presented in the form of a literal checklist, with prompts and questions to help ensure the would-be owner has fully thought through their decision.

    Launched this week by the Cat Group, and supported by the BVA and a range of animal welfare organisations, the kitten checklist prompts potential buyers to see the kitten with its mother at least once before deciding whether or not to buy it.

    It also provides handy tips for first-time cat owners, and guidance on feeding and litter tray material. In addition, it guides prospective owners in how to carry out...

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019
    Defra backtracks on bovine TB blog post

    Defra incorrectly stated in a blog post that an independent review of the government’s bovine TB (bTB) strategy found that the badger cull had significantly helped manage the disease.

    The department changed the wording of the post in its ‘Defra in the media’ blog after being contacted about it by anti-cull campaigner and former government vet Iain McGill.

    As reported in last week’s Vet Record, Defra initially stated that the independent review carried out by Charles Godfray in 2018 found that the badger cull had ‘a "modest" but significant impact’ on managing bTB.

    However, the department has since updated that blog post and removed this wording in a tacit acknowledgement that it was wrong.

    The blog post now states that the Godfray review ‘concluded that the evidence from the current badger cull shows a positive effect on cattle TB incidence, "consistent" with...

    Categories: Journal news

    Triple combination antiparasitic for dogs

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 27 September 2019

    Vets have a new tool for the treatment of external and internal parasitic infestations in dogs, in the form of a once-monthly chewable tablet.

    Zoetis has announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Simparica Trio, which contains three active ingredients – sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel – offering triple combination antiparasitic medication for dogs with, or at risk from, mixed external and internal parasitic infestations.

    Simparica Trio provides immediate and persistent killing activity for five weeks against dog and cat fleas, and ticks (Ixodes hexagonus, Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and for four weeks against Dermacentor reticulatus), the company says. It adds that the tablets can be used as part of a treatment strategy for the control of flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, the tablets prevent heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) and lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) and also treat gastrointestinal roundworm and hookworm infections of Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum, Toxascaris...

    Categories: Journal news


    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Switzerland-based specialist life sciences consulting company Stonehaven Consulting has appointed Arthur Redpath to lead the development of its intelligence and analytics services for the animal health industry. A veterinarian and marketing specialist, Redpath has worked in the life science and animal health sectors for over 20 years, having held leadership roles at Novartis Animal Health as global category head for its ruminants and companion animal parasiticides businesses. More recently, he was Elanco’s chief marketing officer in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and global marketing excellence leader responsible for developing fact- and insight-based marketing capabilities.

    Categories: Journal news

    Vet student research bursaries awarded

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    MSD Animal Health has awarded five vet student research bursaries for 2019. The awards are focused on supporting innovation and research in the veterinary industry, with five £1000 research bursaries given to vet students of UK vet schools for the best research project applications.

    The bursaries have been awarded to Alysia Empert-Gallegos of the University of Glasgow for her project on owner perspectives of feeding raw meat diets; Emily Freeman of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies for her research into helminth coinfection relationships between livestock and wildlife in rural Kenya; Jia Ni Goh (pictured) from the University of Nottingham for research into the characterisation of multidrug resistance in coliforms isolated from sheep feet in response to multiple footbath treatments; Kriti Saxena of the Royal Veterinary College for a project on the comparison of the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in faecal Escherichia coli from organic and non-organic broiler...

    Categories: Journal news

    No time for complacency

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    The summer is over and as the seasonal peak in overseas travel declines, it is easy to think that the associated risk of inadvertent importation of exotic diseases such as African swine fever (ASF) falls away with it.

    But this is no time to become complacent. Only this week, the National Pig Association called for Defra and the UK port authorities to take a more robust approach to keeping ASF out of the country and its call is certainly not misplaced. The APHA’s recent disease surveillance report (VR, 7 September 2019, vol 185, pp 259–260) warned that the summer had been ‘a critical time’ for the spread of ASF virus throughout Europe and into other regions through ‘human-mediated routes’. It reported increasing numbers of outbreaks in several European countries, as well as the first outbreaks in Slovakia, and highlighted concern about repeated findings of contaminated products of animal origin...

    Categories: Journal news

    Is it time to incentivise public health work?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    Vet students should be offered financial incentives to become public health vets and ‘serve the country’ by fulfilling vital work in slaughterhouses.

    That is the view of Stephen May, a senior veterinary educationalist and former RCVS president.

    Speaking at a panel discussion at last week’s British Equine Veterinary Association congress, May said he had already urged the government to establish mechanisms whereby veterinary graduates who go to work in the UK’s food production industry could have their fees repaid in recognition of this.

    He drew a comparison with graduate inflow programmes for army engineers, whereby university tuition fees are repaid in recognition of their decision to work in jobs essential to the nation.

    This approach could also be used to broaden the range of applicants to vet school, he said.

    ‘One of the things I’ve encouraged the government to consider terms of widening participation, actually...

    Categories: Journal news

    Picture perfect

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    ‘One shot, two lives’ (right) is the title of the winning image in the ‘one veterinary community’ category of this year’s BVA photography competition.

    Taken by companion animal vet Laura Caballero Pastor, from Gateshead, the photo shows a vet vaccinating a dog against rabies in Nepal, watched by local people. It was taken during a project in which Caballero Pastor was part of a team neutering and treating dogs.

    Jennifer Dykes took the top spot in the ‘all creatures great and small’ category with an image of two sheep at dawn at Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District.

    This year’s photo competition attracted over 400 entries, with the winners announced at BVA Members’ Day in Swansea on 19 September.

    Categories: Journal news

    Vets labouring under legacy of bygone era

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    The James Herriot books have created a nightmare for today’s working vets, leading clients to undervalue them.

    That is the view of Henry Tremaine, a specialist in equine surgery and dentistry, who said the Herriot image of vets practising because of a love of animals but with little commercial nous was old fashioned and should be consigned to history.

    Tremaine, who works for B&W Vets, which is owned by CVS, told the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress last week that he wanted to explore the question of whether corporate practice ownership would spell ‘the end of the Herriot dream’.

    ‘You might think it was a Herriot dream; I think a lot of it was a Herriot nightmare in many ways, and I actually think it would be a good thing if that went into the obsolescence bin,’ he said.

    Tremaine later told Vet Record that...

    Categories: Journal news

    Irish vets 'petrified about no-deal Brexit

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    Vets in the Republic of Ireland are petrified by the ‘nightmare’ of a no-deal Brexit, the president of the Irish equivalent of the BVA has said.

    David McGuinness told a meeting on Brexit last week: ‘Just to let everybody here know, we’re absolutely scared out of our wits of a no-deal Brexit,’ he said. ‘We’re scared of a soft-deal Brexit and a lot of vets in the equine profession [in Ireland] are absolutely petrified.’

    Speaking at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress, he said: ‘The implications for the tripartite agreement [the agreement allowing the free movement of some horses between the UK, Ireland and France], our ability to compete, our ability to get’s absolutely frightening.

    ‘There are a lot of vets in the Republic of Ireland that really hope there’s going to be another referendum and that the whole thing’s going to be stopped...

    Categories: Journal news
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