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Does animal-assisted therapy need regulation?

12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) should draw up guidelines for best practice in animal-assisted therapy (AAT), the pet charity Blue Cross has said.

The call comes after responses to a Freedom of Information request it submitted to NHS trusts across Great Britain indicated that the majority now offer AAT as part of their services.

Of 76 NHS trusts across England, Scotland and Wales that responded to the request for information, 60 per cent said they offer some form of AAT.

Blue Cross has called on the Department of Health to go further by starting a comprehensive review of AAT and its potential benefits, with a view to rolling it out more widely.

AAT, a catch-all term encompassing many different forms of treatment involving animals, has been used in the NHS as part of a treatment package for patients suffering from conditions including...

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News section PDF

12 December 2019
Categories: Journal news

'Corruption at vet school has been dealt with

12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

A European university where dozens of students were allegedly victimised by members of staff running a corruption racket has provided Vet Record with fresh information about the case.

Papers from a case heard by the RCVS disciplinary committee last month indicated that at least 30 and ‘possibly many more’ students had money extorted from them by members of staff at Bucharest’s University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

EU nationals who graduate from the university are automatically entitled to practise as vets in the UK. Hundreds are on the RCVS register at present.

As reported by Vet Record last week (VR, 7 December 2019, vol 185, p 672), an RCVS disciplinary committee hearing unearthed disturbing allegations of students being forced to hand over bribes in order to pass an exam and thus be allowed to graduate from the university.

The European Association of Establishments for Veterinary...

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Progress on our green agenda

12 December 2019

Vet Record and In Practice are now posted out in a carbon-neutral polymer wrapper.

Starting this week, your journals will be supplied in Polyair, which is derived from the waste products of sugar cane processing.

As the amount of carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere during the growing of the sugar cane is greater than the total emissions from the processing, transportation and manufacturing of the polymer, the bioplastic bags are carbon neutral at the point they leave the factory gate.

The polymer wrapping is non-compostable, but fully recyclable at larger supermarkets or local council sites which normally provide a recycling service for poly and plastic bags.

Publisher of the vet journals Janet O’Flaherty said: ‘We know that vets are concerned about sustainability and the environment and so we are delighted that BVA’s journals now have carbon-neutral wrapping. We will continue to explore further greener packaging options.’

For...

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Concerns about fertility clinics claims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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