Journal news

Concerns about fertility clinics claims

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

A Fertility clinic has for more than a year been falsely advertising the services of a vet who is not on the RCVS register.

K9 Fertility Clinic, based in the Dudley area of the West Midlands, has for more than 12 months stated on its website that Maria Elena Pittaro is its ‘on-site vet’.

Above Pittaro’s name and a picture, purportedly of her, is a strapline stating: ‘Our on-site vet adds more reason [sic] to trust our services.’

However, for the past year, Pittaro has in fact not been registered with the RCVS and so has not been allowed to practise any form of veterinary surgery in the UK – a fact that was spotted by several bona fide vets, who brought this to Vet Record’s attention.

K9 Fertility Clinic offers dog breeding services including transcervical insemination, caesarean sections, progesterone testing, pregnancy scanning and microchipping.

It...

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Pets at Home faces criticism over 'pet villages

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The vlogger behind a petition calling on Pets at Home to reconsider the design of new interactive zones in its stores has suggested that customers might want to boycott their local Pets at Home store in future if the company does not rethink its approach.

Zoology graduate Emi Jordan, whose YouTube channel featuring weekly videos about rats, mice and other pets has tens of thousands of subscribers, said opponents of so-called ‘pet villages’ at branches of Pets at Home should consider ‘boycotting your local store if the new designs [for the interactive zones] are implemented.’

These will turn its animal enclosures into a playground

Already a small number of stores have the zones – designed as an ‘immersive’ environment where children can get close to animals – but there are plans to roll them out to others. Jordan said she is appalled by what she...

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Mission elimination rabies: action to hit 2030 target

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

A year after the World Health Organization set the world a challenge to eliminate dog rabies-related deaths in people by 2030, organisations are stepping up their support.

Last month, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the charity Mission Rabies to collaborate in the fight to end rabies.

Under the MoU, the WSAVA will become an observer of Mission Rabies’ newly launched International Rabies Taskforce (IRT) – a global committee of experts dedicated to the elimination of canine rabies that aims to provide practical expertise and guidance to support governments to plan and grow successful, cost-effective rabies elimination strategies.

The IRT is committed to the goal of eliminating human deaths due to canine-mediated rabies deaths by 2030.

With 10 years to go, this disease is still estimated to cause over 50,000 deaths each year, with many victims being children.

...
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Global donkey populations are in crisis

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Demand for the Chinese ‘medicine’ – ejiao – is now a real threat to this species, reports Adele Waters

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In brief

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019
Low pathogenic avian flu confirmed in Suffolk birds

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) of the H5 strain has been confirmed on a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk.

All 27,000 birds will now be humanely culled and Defra has put in place a 1 km restriction zone around the infected farm to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: ‘Bird keepers should remain alert for any signs of disease, report suspected disease immediately and ensure they are maintaining good biosecurity on their premises. We are urgently looking for any evidence of disease spread associated with this strain to control and eliminate it.’

LPAI is a less serious strain of H5 avian influenza than the highly pathogenic strains, but it is still notifiable. It can cause mild breathing problems, but affected birds will not...

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Enhanced benefits for staff

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

CVS Group used its recent group conference to introduce a range of strategies that aim to support the career and personal development of its staff.

The company’s new chief executive Richard Fairman announced one of these – an enhanced maternity policy. The new policy offers full pay for 10 weeks and 50 per cent of pay for a further 10 weeks, without any clawback provision should mothers decide not to return to CVS after their maternity leave.

At the same event, director of veterinary education Renate Weller launched the CVS Knowledge Hub – an interactive learning platform that sets a new benchmark for veterinary learning with large employers, she said. The hub offers clinical and non-clinical staff access to a suite of blended learning opportunities inside and outside of CVS.

Fairman also signed the ‘time to change’ pledge during the conference to promote positive mental wellbeing among the staff....

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Laser treatment for pets

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

GILMORE Veterinary Surgery in Standish, Greater Manchester, is offering laser treatment to encourage healing and provide pain relief in pets.

LaserPet, founded by registered vet nurse Lauren Keenan, offers low-level laser therapy, which is a non-invasive, pain-free treatment that stimulates the body’s own healing mechanism to help reduce pain and inflammation, she said. It helps accelerate and improve the quality of healing. Back pain, sprains, arthritis and wounds respond well to the treatment, and pets normally find the procedure relaxing and don’t need sedation. Treatment time is around 15 minutes.

Keenan said: ‘I spent some time working as a vet nurse in the USA where this type of treatment is used by a large proportion of practices to improve their patients’ health and wellbeing. I saw first-hand how it can really help.’

Gilmore Veterinary Surgery, 52 High Street, Standish, Wigan WN6 0HF,telephone 01257 426110. www.gilmorevets.co.uk

...

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Business

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Bayer and Pharmaron have entered into a global collaboration agreement to develop new molecular entities for veterinary medicines. Their goal is to provide vets, pet owners and farmers with innovative therapies that address unmet medical needs of animal patients. Under the arrangement, Pharmaron will provide state-of-the-art chemistry, manufacturing and controls capabilities and resources. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition is changing its name to the Waltham Petcare Science Institute. This change reflects the breadth of science undertaken at the institute by scientists working on projects spanning diverse research areas, including advanced pet nutrition, data science, biomarkers and microbiome.

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Making the switch from practice to policy

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Vet Catrina Prince is Lord Trees’ fourth intern, which means she has swapped clinical work for parliament. With government in purdah, she has the chance to get to grips with the issues at hand.

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Mental health care in practice

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Veterinary group Linnaeus has trained almost 100 mental health first aiders within its practices, with the aim of developing a culture where support and conversations about mental health are normalised, so that colleagues feel able to reach out for the support they need.

Michelle O’Connor, the group’s people and culture director, said: ‘Veterinarians are three to four times more likely to die by suicide than workers from any other industry. Because of this alarming statistic, we have put wellbeing at the forefront of our strategy to demonstrate the commitment we have to our people and their wellbeing, and I’m really proud of the volunteers who have put themselves forward.’

The volunteers, who work in both office and clinical roles, have all attended a training course run by Mental Health First Aid England to acquire the skills to support their own and others’ wellbeing. The course trains people to identify...

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Sheep research grant 2020 open

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

The Sheep Veterinary Society invites applications for funding for research projects to the value of £4000. The aim of the research grant is to fund novel, applied, and evidence-based science of relevance to the society’s aim of promoting disease prevention and positive welfare in sheep. The successful candidate will be invited to present their results to the society. Application forms are available by email from: secretariat@sheepvetsoc.org.uk, or can be downloaded from www.sheepvetsoc.org.uk. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2020.

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People

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

European cardiology specialist Hayley McDonald has joined the cardiology department at Dick White Referrals (DWR). She graduated from Massey University in New Zealand and worked in first-opinion and emergency care practice in Australia before moving to the UK to do a three-year residency at the University of Glasgow. Having completed the residency, she remained at Glasgow as a clinician in veterinary cardiorespiratory medicine before joining DWR.

Fran Henson is the new head of equine orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. She is a recognised specialist in equine surgery (orthopaedics) with over 20 years of experience in treating poorly performing or lame horses. Her appointment will focus on providing a fully comprehensive referral service for the diagnosis and treatment of lameness, back problems and poor performance, and continuing to develop her comparative orthopaedics research programme.

...

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Career development

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Sarah Mason, a European and RCVS specialist in oncology at Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Essex, has become the first clinician to earn a diploma in radiation oncology as well. Success in the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine examination means that she is now a European specialist in both oncology and radiation oncology – the first person to achieve the qualification by training and examination.

Andrew Perry, head of dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery at Eastcott Referrals in Swindon, has been recognised as a specialist in dentistry by the European Veterinary Dental College. One of only nine vets in the UK to have achieved this, he has simultaneously been recognised by the RVCS as a specialist in veterinary dentistry.

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Investment funding for PhD students

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Partners of the London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (LIDo), which includes the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), will benefit from more than £20 million of extra funding in 2020 – representing an extra 190 PhD studentships. LIDo has also announced that it will have four new ‘associate partners’ next year, including the Food Standards Agency and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Each of these will contribute at least three additional studentships, as well as providing projects and collaborative opportunities for students.

Jonathan Elliott, vice principal for research and innovation at the RVC, said: ‘Training future scientists to think and work across disciplines in tackling major global challenges, such as antimicrobial resistance and food security, is something the RVC is committed to and being part of LIDo enables us to meet that commitment. We are a proud beneficiary of such a major investment in researcher skills development and are determined...

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European universities are not all the same

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

This week we report on an important RCVS disciplinary committee case (see p 672).

It involved a Romanian vet, Andreea Maria Bacaintan, who is currently practicing in the UK, having left her native country to try and – in her words – ‘make a better life’.

After the RCVS became aware that Bacaintan had a conviction for a bribery offence back in her home country, she was brought before the college’s disciplinary committee. But in the process of examining the charge against her – a charge to which Bacaintan admitted guilt – it became apparent that this young woman was in fact a victim of corruption at an outwardly respectable European vet school.

The vet school in question is based at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest. It is a member of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) – a quality assurance...

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Corruption found in Romanian vet school

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

An RCVS disciplinary committee has unearthed disturbing allegations of corruption at a European-approved vet school whose graduates are able to practise as vets in the UK.

The revelation, which has prompted calls from the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) for an investigation, came to light at the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing involving a vet convicted of a bribery offence.

Andreea Maria Bacaintan, who is currently practising as a vet in the UK, was charged in 2017 in her native Romania with having bribed a veterinary professor at a university, from which she subsequently graduated.

The charge, which she admitted, was that, as a final-year vet student at Bucharest’s University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in 2016, Bacaintan had paid the equivalent of £66 as a bribe in order to pass an exam about animal slaughtering and meat processing.

As punishment for the offence,...

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MPs urged to safeguard animal welfare

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), which lobbies on behalf of the animal medicines industry, has released its ‘animal health manifesto’ ahead of next week’s general election. It calls on prospective MPs to pledge their support to safeguard the health and welfare of the UK’s pets and farm animals.

As well as providing would-be parliamentarians with a briefing on how the animal medicines industry in the UK operates and why it is important, the eight-page document calls for candidates across the country to:

  • Recognise the important role played by animal health products and services, and include the sector’s needs as the UK negotiates any future relationship with the EU.

  • Place animal health and welfare at the heart of any relevant future policy. This includes supporting incentives to develop innovative treatments and better diagnostics for animals.

  • Support positive health and societal wellbeing by...

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    Getting political: vets stand in general election

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    With just days left until polling takes place for the general election, vets standing as candidates to be MPs are preparing to make their final pitches to voters.

    This time around, four vets are known to be standing as prospective parliamentary candidates. They are:

    Danny Chambers, a member of RCVS council, is standing for the Liberal Democrats in the constituency of North Cornwall. The seat was held by the Conservatives at the last election but is considered a target seat by the Lib Dems.

    Equine vet Neil Hudson is standing for the Conservatives in the seat of Penrith and The Border, where the Tories won more than 60 per cent of the vote at the last election. Hudson’s selection to fight the seat for the Conservatives came about after the constituency’s former MP, Rory Stewart, left the party earlier this year to stand as an independent candidate for the...

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    Who will get your vote on 12 December?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    By Josh Loeb and Rachel Garty

    Political parties have been setting out their stall as the general election campaign enters its final days.

    While there is widespread consensus on some issues, for example the need to enshrine animal sentience into law, there is noticeable divergence in other areas, for example on the issue of ‘cage’ use on farms.

    In September of this year, after Labour released a dedicated animal welfare manifesto, Vet Record pledged to look into what other parties were promising (see VR, 7 September 2019, vol 185, p 247). With most manifestos now out, we can present a round-up of some of the highlights – with the caveat that our lists (below) are not exhaustive, so anyone keen to find out more about what an individual party is offering should check that party’s website.

    These are some of the most relevant pledges for the vet profession

    ...
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