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Updated: 14 min 4 sec ago

'I loved making time to be creative and learning to express my feelings

14 March 2019

Vet Kate Richards has enjoyed a varied career from practice to government. She has recently completed a master’s degree in creative writing, yet she retains her relationship with the profession.

Categories: Journal news

People

14 March 2019

Turlough O’Neill, an RCVS Specialist in small animal surgery (orthopaedics) and a European Specialist in small animal surgery, has joined Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield. He graduated from the Veterinary College of Ireland in 1987 and spent two years in mixed practice before moving to Australia. He became a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 1996, before completing a masters of veterinary studies and a residency in small animal surgery at the University of Melbourne. He returned to the UK as a lecturer in small animal surgery at the University of Liverpool in 2000 and became a specialist in 2005. Most recently, he has worked at referral centres in the north of England.

Danae Charalambous, a former intern at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists (SCVS), has become the first ever resident of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She graduated from the Aristotle University...

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Welfare of UKs farmed animals and captive exotic species - topics for this years AWF Discussion Forum

14 March 2019

This year’s Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Discussion Forum – on 5 June in Westminster, London – will have a new debate format, featuring expert speakers offering opposing arguments. The subjects debated will be on the welfare of UK’s farmed animals and exotic species in captivity.

The morning session, chaired by RCVS president Amanda Boag, will pose the question ‘UK farming: is welfare good enough?’. While the UK’s farm animal welfare standards are considered among the highest in the world, issues such as non-stun slaughter, the live transport of animals and the changes facing the agricultural sector (in terms of technology, growth and Brexit) challenge this claim. David Main, professor of production animal health and welfare at the Royal Agricultural University, and Jim Reynolds, professor of large animal medicine and welfare at Western University, California, will take opposing stances on the issue.

The afternoon debate, chaired by Sky News sports...

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Proving your worth to farmers

14 March 2019

Another week, and we are still unclear on Brexit and the direction it will take.

This leaves farming, like so many industries, waiting to see what the impact will be. With the loss of EU subsidies and pressure from third countries to potentially accept trade deals that favour lower animal welfare standards, farming is certainly going to be affected in a variety of ways.

So what can the UK farming industry do to protect itself for whatever lies ahead?

One opportunity is to produce more sustainable food. There are many definitions of what ‘sustainable’ means, but the UN definition is that it has to be economically viable, protect the environment and be socially acceptable.

The demand is there – the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) predicts global demand for animal protein to increase by 70 per cent by 2050.

An area that ticks all three of these sustainability...

Categories: Journal news

CSOs are ready and waiting to help vets

14 March 2019

By Josh Loeb

The UK’s first ever certification support officers (CSOs) are now ready to start assisting vets who sign export health certificates.

The UK’s chief veterinary officer has confirmed that the first tranche of CSOs have completed their training and hundreds of applications from people keen to start the training are currently ‘going through the system’.

Christine Middlemiss told a special media briefing last week that the move forms part of Defra’s efforts to keep trade flowing as smoothly as possible post-Brexit.

The department, which is said to be the most affected by Brexit, estimates an increase in the volume of certificates associated with exports of products of animal origin of between 100 and 250 per cent nationally after the UK leaves the EU. This estimate has been revised down from the 325 per cent predicted in 2017. The volume of paperwork would be at the higher estimate...

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News section PDF

14 March 2019
Categories: Journal news

Research needed to look into parasiticides?

14 March 2019

By Josh Loeb

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has received a number of proposals to investigate the environmental impact of spot-on flea, tick and worm treatments for dogs but has yet to commission any research to look into the matter.

The regulator confirmed this week that it has received several bids to undertake the work following its open call to tender last year.

However, it has yet to make a decision about the nature of the research required.

‘Research is still to be commissioned pending ongoing discussion around the proposed work to be undertaken,’ a spokesperson confirmed this week.

The decision to start the commissioning process followed comments made by Jason Weeks of the Veterinary Products Committee. Last year at a meeting at the VMD’s headquarters, he said ectoparasiticides were ‘quite likely’ to pose environmental risks (VR, 27 October 2018, vol 183, p 490).

Concern centres around potential direct...

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Treating prostatic tumours

14 March 2019

Fitzpatrick Referrals are now offering arterial embolisation as a treatment for canine prostatic neoplasia – the first veterinary centre to do so in Europe.

The practice’s Gerard McLauchlan first carried out the procedure in December 2018 and has since performed it on two more patients.

Prostatic embolisation in veterinary patients – which involves cutting off the blood supply to a tumour – has only been performed in a small number of centres globally, but initial results from the USA show up to a 40 per cent reduction in the volume of these tumours following the procedure. It can be performed alongside targeted intra-arterial chemotherapy.

Categories: Journal news

Rehoming hope for banned breed dogs

14 March 2019

By Georgina Mills

The government is to explore the possibility of allowing rescue centres to rehome banned breed dogs.

In a debate in Westminster Hall, David Rutley, parliamentary under secretary of state at Defra, said he would be happy to meet with welfare groups to explore the case law on how banned breeds on the Index of Exempted Dogs could be rehomed in the future.

The debate followed the publication of the Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s (EfraCom’s) scrutiny of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), published in September last year, and the subsequent response from the government.

Under the legislation, four breeds are banned (named section 1 dogs) – the dogo argentino, fila brasileiro, pit bull terrier and the Japanese tosa.

The initial EfraCom scrutiny said the Act was ‘incoherent’ and that innocent dogs were being euthanased based on their breed alone.

It called for a full-scale review of...

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Brachycephalic advertising row at Crufts

14 March 2019

By Georgina Mills

Pet food manufacturer Royal Canin has come under fire from vets after it used a picture of an English bulldog in its advertising at Crufts last week.

On a large computer screen in the exhibition area, the advertisement featured a picture of the brachycephalic breed along with the company logo. On another screen, using the same picture, there was advertising for its Breed Health Nutrition range, along with words stating the company was ‘obsessed over purebred dogs’.

Royal Canin produces 42 separate feeds for 23 breeds, including English bulldogs, French bulldogs and pugs.

Vets took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the brand using a brachycephalic breed to advertise.

One such vet was Veronika Smart, who told Vet Record: ‘At a time when brachycephalic popularity is at an all-time high and increasingly extreme phenotypic traits are being normalised by indiscriminate marketing of these breeds for...

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In brief

14 March 2019
Mandisa will be first black RCVS president

The RCVS has elected Mandisa Greene as its junior vice president.

Greene, who was first elected to council in 2014 and was re-elected last year, is currently chair of the Practice Standards Group, which coordinates the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, and a member of the Primary Qualifications Subcommittee and the Legislation Working Party.

She is the first person from a minority ethnic background to be elected to the college’s officer team in its 175-year history.

Greene was born in the UK, but was raised in Trinidad and Tobago from the age of two. At 18, she moved back to the UK to study for a BSc in biological and medicinal chemistry at the University of Exeter, before embarking on her veterinary training at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Her interests lie in small animal practice...

Categories: Journal news

Gender balance at the top gets better results

14 March 2019

By Josh Loeb

Having gender balance is good for business.

That was the case made by panellists during a discussion about gender diversity earlier this month.

Delegates at the discussion, part of the Animal Health Investment Europe conference, cited research suggesting companies were more successful if they had a 50/50 male-female split in their highest echelons.

Linda Rhodes, a senior research scientist who sits on the Zoetis board, said: ‘Zoetis is a great example – 50 per cent of the senior executive team at Zoetis [in the UK] are women.

‘And it’s not just the head of HR – it’s the head of research, it’s the head of the general counsel. Zoetis has recognised this is an important thing for their success.’

A spokeswoman for Zoetis later told Vet Record that two of its 11 board members are women. At executive level, four out of nine members are women,...

Categories: Journal news

All those in favour say 'aye - in public

14 March 2019

The RCVS has decided not to introduce secret ballots as a way of voting during council meetings.

The decision follows concerns that such a change could damage transparency and make democratic accountability harder to achieve.

Up until now voting at council took place via a show of hands.

In January, council members were scheduled to vote on whether or not to proceed with plans to mandate the use of electronic voting.

However their decision was pushed back to this month after one council member urged the college not to ‘fear transparency’ and others expressed similar concerns.

Criticism of secret voting came after the college indicated that using its new electronic voting system would be synonymous with anonymising votes.

It would require council members to press buttons to vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ (or opt to abstain on) proposals. It would also make it harder for journalists to report which way...

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Hunting for horsepower: whats in a gallop?

14 March 2019

Georgina Mills discusses research into the power behind a horse’s gallop.

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Medicines update

14 March 2019

The points below highlight changes in marketing authorisations (MAs) that may have a significant impact on veterinary surgeons’ prescribing decisions.

New marketing authorisations

New marketing authorisations relevant to veterinary surgeons in the UK that were issued or published in January 2019 are listed in Table 1.

Table 1 also indicates where a public assessment report should become available for a product. Where available, links to these reports are accessible by clicking on the relevant product on the VMD’s Product Information Database www.gov.uk/check-animal-medicine-licensed

The European Medicines Agency publishes European Public Assessment Reports for every veterinary medicine that is authorised through a centralised procedure. Links to these reports are accessible at www.ema.europa.eu

There may be a delay between the issuing of a marketing authorisation to a company and the product being placed on the market.

Changes to marketing authorisationsFood-producing animals

(1) Amoxycare LA suspension for Injection...

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Equine disease surveillance: quarterly update

14 March 2019

Equine disease surveillance headlines

  • Round up of equine news

  • Summary of UK disease surveillance for October to December 2018

  • New surveillance initiative for equine strangles

  • News round upEquine influenza

    Between early December 2018 and 4 February 2019 (when this report was finalised), the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany reported the emergence of Florida clade 1 (FC1) equine influenza viruses causing disease outbreaks.

    Florida clade 2 (FC2) viruses are more commonly isolated in Europe and this is the first time that a FC1 virus has been responsible for multiple outbreaks since 2009. In this situation it is not the absence of FC1 viruses in vaccines that is the issue, but rather the potential mismatch between vaccine FC1 strains and those now seemingly circulating. Cases among vaccinated horses have been confirmed in all affected countries.

    About this report

    This report is produced by Defra, the Animal...

    Categories: Journal news

    Surveillance of equine strangles: a new initiative

    14 March 2019

    Abigail McGlennon from the Animal Health Trust introduces a new project to gather information on cases of strangles in horses throughout the UK

    Categories: Journal news

    Addressing the evidence gap: new techniques to solve an old problem

    14 March 2019

    Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM) is held to be the gold standard approach to cases for veterinary clinicians; reducing the use of habit, anecdote and theoretical reasoning by basing clinical decisions on the best available empirical evidence.1 The veterinary profession has, quite rightly, been moving towards using a more evidence-based approach to clinical practice in recent years. The fundamentals of EBVM are now taught throughout the curricula of UK veterinary schools, postgraduate certificates focus on the tenets of EBVM, the EBVM Learning website2 is used worldwide to teach the stages of EBVM and RCVS Knowledge have launched a journal (Veterinary Evidence) whose remit is to publish evidence to aid clinical decision making.

    However, the reality for many vets in practice is that there is still a dearth of good-quality evidence available upon which to base even the simplest of day-to-day clinical decisions. There are many reasons...

    Categories: Journal news

    Developing practical recommendations for preventative healthcare consultations involving dogs and cats using a Delphi technique

    14 March 2019

    Preventive healthcare is the focus of a large proportion of UK small animal veterinary consultations. The evidence base for how to optimise these consultations is limited. Therefore, evidence-based practical recommendations are needed for veterinary surgeons conducting these consultations. The aim of this study was to use an evidence-based methodology to develop the first consensus recommendations to improve dog and cat preventative healthcare consultations (PHCs).

    Evidence from multiple sources was systematically examined to generate a list of 18 recommendations. Veterinary surgeons and pet owners with extensive experience of PHCs were recruited to an anonymous panel to obtain consensus on whether these recommendations would improve PHCs. A Delphi technique was followed during three rounds of online questionnaire, with consensus set at 80 per cent agreement or disagreement with each recommendation. Thirteen of the original 18 recommendations reached consensus (>80per cent agreement), while the five remaining recommendations did not reach consensus.

    Globally, these are the first evidence-based recommendations developed specifically in relation to small animal general practice PHCs, generated via a Delphi panel including both veterinary surgeons and pet owners. Future work is needed to understand how these recommendations can be implemented in a range of veterinary practice settings.

    Categories: Journal news

    Review of pig health and welfare surveillance data sources in England and Wales

    14 March 2019

    The capability to set baselines and monitor trends of health and welfare conditions is an important requirement for livestock industries in order to maintain economic competitiveness and sustainability. Monitoring schemes evaluate the relative importance of conditions so that: appropriate actions can be determined, prioritised and implemented; new and (re)emerging conditions can be promptly detected and the effectiveness of any actions can be measured. In 2011, the national pig levy board published a strategy document highlighting health and welfare conditions of importance to the pig industry that were to be targeted for control. In this study, existing schemes that could be used to monitor or set baselines for these conditions in pigs were reviewed, in order to evaluate their suitability for this purpose, using a standardised surveillance evaluation framework (SERVAL). The schemes included: government-funded surveillance of endemic and exotic disease and pig welfare; industry surveillance of endemic diseases; regional schemes for improving pig health; national accreditation schemes and information collected by retailers, private veterinary practices and private laboratories. The evaluation of each scheme highlights its capability to monitor any of the targeted conditions. This study identifies the biases, strengths and gaps in each scheme and provides discussion of opportunities for future development.

    Categories: Journal news