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Why join the RCVS Fellowship?

17 January 2020

In 2016 new life was breathed into a learned society – the RCVS Fellowship. Chair of the Fellowship Board John Innes, is keen for more vets to join.

Categories: Journal news

Fellowship case study

17 January 2020

Liz Mossop joined the fellowship in 2018. She is deputy vice chancellor for student development at the University of Lincoln and was previously a foundation member of staff at Nottingham vet school, where she led the curriculum as sub-dean for teaching, learning and assessment and as a professor of veterinary education.

Why did you apply to become a fellow of the RCVS?

I was encouraged to apply by Gary England who was my boss at Nottingham. He led much of the work to revise the scheme to open it to a broader membership. He convinced me that my slightly unusual veterinary career was exactly what the new scheme was trying to recognise.

What role should the fellowship have?

To me, the fellowship is about a collective form of influence – but influence through working with the profession, public and each other – rather than a top-down hierarchy. That’s...

Categories: Journal news

People

17 January 2020

Alison Lambert of Onswitch won the Australian Veterinary Association’s (AVA’s) inaugural Veterinary Business Thought Leader Award for 2019. She said: ‘I was really chuffed to be given this award, which I didn’t know was coming – unusually I was a bit lost for words! I spend a couple of months a year working with my extended veterinary family in Australia and see it very much as my second home.’

Onswitch has worked closely with the AVA and its Veterinary Business Group for many years, delivering workshops and speaker sessions at their congresses and working with member practices to help improve the customer experience they provide. Lambert donated her prize to the association to fund a scholarship, working with the Veterinary Business Group to recognise emerging business leaders.

Dawn Prime, senior animal care assistant at Wherry Veterinary Group in Bungay, Suffolk, has won the overall title National Suitably Qualified Person...

Categories: Journal news

Taking a lead on the environment

17 January 2020

Later this year the UK will host the United Nations’ 26th world climate summit.

The so-called COP26 will take place in Glasgow in November and is expected to be the biggest and most significant since the Paris summit in 2015.

Not only can we expect to see the renewal of international pledges to reduce CO2 emissions, but we may see a greater shared understanding between countries about the scale of the climate challenge and perhaps more unity in terms of urgent measures to address it.

The climate emergency has shot up the global political agenda. Here in the UK, our last prime minister, Theresa May, committed us to achieving net zero greenhouse gases by 2050.

Now many experts and climate activists alike, agree this target date is too late; they say the scale of the problem means it should be brought forward to 2030.

At last week’s...

Categories: Journal news

Verbal promises not enough, say farmers

17 January 2020

By Adele Waters

UK farmers gave Theresa Villiers a tough message at last week’s Oxford Farming conference.

Yes, they were prepared and ready to do more to increase sustainability in farming, maintain high welfare standards and reduce carbon emissions. But the government must protect their interests when it comes to negotiating international trade deals post-Brexit.

The environment secretary was warned that flooding the UK’s supermarkets with cheap imported food could devastate the UK’s farming industry.

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, demanded more than just verbal promises to protect UK farmers’ interests.

‘Will the government pull together a council or commission on food standards to scrutinise trade deals and ensure that we don’t end up with a two-tier food system and import food that would be illegal for our farmers to produce here?’ she asked the environment secretary.

‘It’s been great to hear verbal...

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News section PDF

17 January 2020
Categories: Journal news

Standard of proof for disciplinaries could change

17 January 2020

By Josh Loeb

The RCVS is in advanced discussions about adopting a lower standard of proof in disciplinary hearings for vets and registered vet nurses (RVNs).

The move, which would bring the college into line with other professional regulators, could lead to more charges against vets and RVNs being proven.

The college’s council is expected to make a decision about the matter in the near future.

Currently, the RCVS uses the criminal standard of proof, whereby allegations must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Since the college is one of the last, if not the last, remaining UK regulators to use this standard, it is open to a legal challenge.

Use of the criminal standard places a relatively high burden on the college when attempting to prove the truth of allegations made against vets. By contrast, ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – the standard used by other regulators and...

Categories: Journal news

It takes two: rabbits shouldnt be alone

17 January 2020

By Georgina Mills

Rabbits should be housed in pairs to improve their health and welfare, the BVA has recommended.

In a newly published joint position statement, the BVA, British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have called for greater awareness of the benefits of housing rabbits in compatible pairs.

They are also recommending that rabbit medicine should feature more prominently in the veterinary curriculum so that vets are better equipped to care for the species.

According to the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing report, rabbits are the third most popular pet in the UK; however, their needs remain somewhat misunderstood. The BVA’s spring 2019 voice of the veterinary profession survey found that 73 per cent of vets had seen pet rabbits that were not having their welfare needs met and, of the rabbits they saw, 42 per cent were housed alone.

...
Categories: Journal news

Taking action on obesity in companion animals

17 January 2020

An action plan for tackling obesity in companion animals – drawn up by vets and vet nurses – advocates using body condition scoring as a key tool for identifying, preventing and managing weight gain.

Published to coincide with National Obesity Awareness Week (14–20 January), the action plan – the brainchild of the BVA, British Veterinary Nursing Association, British Veterinary Zoological Society and British Equine Veterinary Association – sets out 30 recommendations for how vets, practices and the veterinary sector at large can work with others to address obesity in dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and rabbits.

Recommendations include the proposal that veterinary professionals monitor the body condition score and weight of a cat, dog or rabbit during that animal’s growth phase and continue to check these measurements at least once each year.

Staff should be trained in using body condition scoring scales consistently for the species they treat,...

Categories: Journal news

Why do people rescue dogs from abroad?

17 January 2020

By Georgina Mills

Most rescue dogs from abroad are entering the UK through the EU Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), leading to concerns over the rigorousness of health checks before they travel.

Results from a study, published online by Vet Record this week, show that 89 per cent of dogs were imported under the EU PETS, rather than the Balai Directive.

Currently, dogs can be brought into the UK under both schemes; however, the PETS deals with the non-commercial movement of animals accompanied by their owners. It is only appropriate for imported rescue dogs if the new owner adopted an animal while holidaying or living abroad. As it only requires the dog to be microchipped, vaccinated for rabies and treated for the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, it is the cheaper option.

The Balai Directive covers the commercial movement of imported dogs (and other animals), and includes situations where there...

Categories: Journal news

New faces for AWF

17 January 2020

By Adele Waters

Four new trustees have been appointed to the board of the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF).

Wildlife and zoo animal vets Romain Pizzi and Justine Shotton, equine vet Deidre Carson, and biologist Charlotte Burn join nine other experts on the AWF board. As trustees, they will play a key role in ensuring that the AWF continues to improve animal welfare by funding research, supporting veterinary education and encouraging debate on animal welfare issues.

Welcoming the new trustees, AWF chair of trustees Chris Laurence said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Romain, Justine, Deidre and Charlotte to the AWF board. They bring with them an enormous range of knowledge, skills and expertise, which will be critical to helping us advance our mission.’

Newly appointed AWF trustees: (from left) Charlotte Burn, Deidre Carson, Romain Pizzi and Justine Shotton

Categories: Journal news

'Monstrous Australian bushfires continue to burn

17 January 2020

Josh Loeb reports on how the fires are affecting wildlife and what vets are doing to help.

Categories: Journal news

In brief

17 January 2020
Equine herpesvirus found in Hampshire

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has praised an equestrian centre for its ‘responsible’ handling of a number of confirmed cases of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) at its premises in Hampshire.

The discovery of the contagious virus led to quarantine measures being imposed at Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre, where the number of fatalities has so far risen to four horses. The first case was confirmed the evening after an event at the centre on 7 January.

The AHT said it believed Crofton Manor was ‘managing the situation extremely responsibly’.

EHV-1 is an infectious respiratory pathogen and clinical signs include a raised temperature, inappetence and lethargy, nasal discharge, coughing and, in some cases, neurological signs.

The trust’s director of epidemiology and disease surveillance, Richard Newton, said that the extent of the infection and exposure among resident horses would be unclear until testing had been completed...

Categories: Journal news

Parasite protection by post

17 January 2020

A new service that delivers prescribed parasite treatments direct from the vet to the pet owner’s home has been launched by MSD Animal Health.

VetsDeliver promises to help practices save clients’ time and improve compliance by providing Bravecto’s 12-week flea and tick treatment along with the wormer of the vet’s choice by post.

To use the service, practices register the client during the patient’s appointment through a portal provided by Easy Direct Debits. The first treatment is given during the appointment with all following prescribed treatments sent directly to the pet owner in the post. Vet practices can register their interest at www.msd-animal-health-hub.co.uk/vetsdeliver

Amanda Melvin, marketing manager, said: ‘We launched VetsDeliver at the London Vet Show and had an extremely positive response. It is designed to build on the trust pet owners already have with their practice and adds convenient delivery to their door that is now...

Categories: Journal news

Portable fluorescence microscope

17 January 2020

Iolight, creator of the world’s first high-resolution portable microscope, has launched a new fluorescence instrument that it says has been designed to be compact and affordable.

The ioLight Fluorescence microscope can be used to view samples from 5 to 10 μm in size and has a magnification of x160 when viewed on 23 cm tablet screen with a 1.2 mm field of view. It connects via an app so that images and videos can be captured and shared using a wireless connection.

Being accessible in terms of size and price, it can be used within educational establishments to learn fluorescence techniques and the principles behind the technology. These benefits could be important to universities where expensive lab microscopes are not always available for teaching, the company says. https://iolight.co.uk/

Categories: Journal news

Products

17 January 2020

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use has granted a positive opinion for Ingelvac CircoFLEX to be manufactured using a new diafiltration process. Vaccine manufactured by the new process is to be launched in all EU countries this month and will be available in several pack sizes, the company says.

Bayer’s Neptra ear drops solution for dogs (with active ingredients florfenicol, terbinafine hydrochloride and mometasone furoate) has received a marketing authorisation for Europe. Neptra is now approved by the European Commission for the treatment of acute canine otitis externa or acute exacerbations of recurrent otitis caused by mixed infections of susceptible strains of bacteria sensitive to florfenicol (Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) and fungi sensitive to terbinafine (Malassezia pachydermatis).

Categories: Journal news

Vet practices

17 January 2020

Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield was the overall winner in the 2019 British Veterinary Hospitals Association Design Awards. It also won the top prize in the conversion category, awarded to practices that have made use of buildings previously used for other purposes. The £5 million centre, based at Paragon Business Village, was launched in February 2018 after an 18-month construction and fit-out process.

The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, has set up a small animal oncology service, led by Stefano Zago.

Hertfordshire-based equine veterinary practice Ballinger Equine has been awarded Best Rural Start Up Business and Best Rural Professional Services Business in the Rural Business Awards, beating competition from all business sectors across the East of England.

Categories: Journal news

New derma-topical range

17 January 2020

CEVA Animal Health has launched a new range of pet skincare products.

DOUXO S3 (S3 stands for safe skincare selection) offers effective and innovative solutions to four dermatological problems and will replace the current DOUXO products, the company says.

The range features a new active ingredient – ophytrium – a purified natural ingredient from the root of the Japanese mondo grass plant Ophiopogon japonicus, which offers a threefold action – strengthening the skin barrier, restoring the balance of protective microbial flora while reducing irritation, and soothing the skin.

DOUXO S3 comes in shampoo and mousse formulations named ‘calm’, ‘pyo’, ‘seb’ and ‘care’. The ‘calm’ formulation soothes itchy, irritated skin; ‘pyo’ contains ophytrium and chlorhexidine making it antibacterial and antifungal, and ‘seb’ features ophytrium, seboliance and a natural extract from pomegranate peel to help with oily or flaky skin. ‘Care’ is an ultragentle shampoo for regular use and maintenance, Ceva...

Categories: Journal news

Vets4Pets choose Vetlife as charity of the year

17 January 2020

VETS4PETS staff have chosen Vetlife as their charity of the year and will undertake fundraising activities to support it.

Vetlife provides a free, confidential, non-judgemental, 24-hour helpline that people can either call or email, as well as a professional health support service and financial support for those in need. Last year, the charity received more than 2700 contacts (eight to 10 calls or emails per day) from vet professionals suffering stress, mental health problems, workplace concerns and personal issues. The charity’s volunteers all work in the veterinary profession and give their time freely.

Catriona Curtis, corporate social responsibility lead at Vets4Pets, said: ‘For several years now, our support office colleagues have selected a charity of the year to support, but this is the first time the entire group has come together to support one charity and we’re delighted that we chose to support Vetlife.’

Alison Clark is the group’s...

Categories: Journal news

Making a practical difference

17 January 2020

XLVets has raised £60,000 to enable its vets to deliver an animal management training programme to African staff working for the charity Send a Cow.

The Farm Skills Africa project offers practical learning. Farm visits and practical sessions alongside classroom-based learning, teach the charity’s staff agricultural techniques and ways to improve animal management. The programme was initially focused on cattle, but was so successful that it was expanded to include sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. Gender equality is also an important part of the project, with female UK vets equally represented, demonstrating their contribution and skill and helping to encourage women in East Africa to work in the profession.

Categories: Journal news