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Editors response

20 March 2020

Thank you for your letter. We have for several years now referred to people by their surname after the first mention of their full name.

This is a fairly standard approach used by newspapers and many journals.

The journalist in question was following our house style.

Categories: Journal news

Ethics and animal research

20 March 2020

The recent letter from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) ‘When is an Animal Test Certificate required?’ (VR, 1 February 2020, vol 186, pp 127-128) was very helpful and provided a useful summary of what is needed to conduct a field trial with a medicine. The distinction between an Animal Test Certificate (ATC) and an ATC-S (which is specifically for small-scale trials conducted for academic/research purposes) is particularly important.

While an application for an ATC or an ATC-S is exempted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which governs all animal research in the UK, it does not remove the need for an ethics review. For those working outside of a university or institute environment, the RCVS has an ethics review panel that looks at the ethical issues involved in a trial and helps to ensure that the work is scientifically robust and that the appropriate ethical issues have been...

Categories: Journal news

Is there a need for the term One Health?

20 March 2020

I sympathise with John Cooper’s mild irritation by the over-use of the term One Health for what used to be called comparative medicine (VR, 29 February 2020, vol 186, p 255).

In 1965, when I joined the staff of the then new Nuffield Institute of Comparative Medicine in London (which later became part of the ZSL Institute of Zoology) I remember much debate about what should and should not be regarded as comparative medicine. However, because the term had been in frequent use for many years, most people knew what it meant. The fairly recently popularised term One Health, on the other hand, has no obvious meaning unless it is accompanied by an explanation.

There can be no doubt about the value of research on diseases of animals and man and the environmental aspects thereof – but the quality of such research is of much greater importance than how...

Categories: Journal news

Death notices

20 March 2020

Chew On 25 February 2020, Peter Chew, BVSc, MRCVS, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Mr Chew qualified from Liverpool in 1964.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m1083

Hiscock On 14 March 2020, Richard Henry Hiscock, MRCVS, of Mere, Wiltshire. Mr Hiscock qualified from Edinburgh in 1952.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m1109

Izaskun On 20 February 2020, Ruiz De Eguino Begona Izaskun, DVM, MSc, MRCVS, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Dr Izaskun qualified from the Universidad de León and was admitted to the RCVS register in 1997.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m1084

Watson On 1 March 2020, John Guthrie Watson, BVMS, DVSM, MRCVS, of Sudbury, Suffolk. Mr Watson qualified from Glasgow in 1952.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m1085

Categories: Journal news

'Killing badgers to control bTB is unethical

20 March 2020

Alick Simmons argues that badger culling as a means to control bovine TB cannot be justified if considered using an established ethical framework.

Categories: Journal news

Using Twitter to advocate for British livestock farming

20 March 2020

This month, farmer Joe Stanley describes why he uses Twitter, and why he thinks vets should too

Categories: Journal news

Peter Chew

20 March 2020

A small animal practitioner with an entrepreneurial spark and a range of interests.

Categories: Journal news

Brian Geoffrey Orbell

20 March 2020

A practitioner who worked in mixed practice in Lutterworth for 30 years.

Categories: Journal news

Striking the right balance in large animal practice

20 March 2020

Vet Eleanor Livingstone offers advice to students and young vets seeking careers working with farm animals, and explains why she made the decisions she did as opportunities presented themselves.

Categories: Journal news

People

20 March 2020

Cats Protection’s chief executive James Yeates has been appointed as a member of an expert panel that advises Defra and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales on animal welfare issues. He is one of four new members of the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC), and the only one who specialises in companion animals. He is an RCVS registered specialist in animal welfare, science, ethics and law and a diplomate of the RCVS and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine.

Dermatologist Ingrid Segboer has joined Rutland House Referrals as its new veterinary dermatologist. A vet for 21 years, she graduated from the University of Utrecht in her native Netherlands and came to the UK to work in 1998. She worked in small animal hospitals in Leicestershire and Cheshire before joining Rutland House where she is part of an experienced team of vets with special interests and expertise...

Categories: Journal news

CPD and fundraising for good causes

20 March 2020

A group of equine vets with ‘a thing’ for motorbikes – collectively known as Vets with Horsepower – is embarking on its 10th tour this year, presenting CPD and raising money for good causes.

Starting in Ghent, Belgium, on 13 June, the team will then present CPD to audiences in Munich, Germany; Zagreb, Croatia; Zreče, Slovenia; Vienna, Austria; Heřmånuv Mester, Czech Republic; Wroclaw, Poland and Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Four charities will benefit from its fundraising activities: the Saving the Survivors campaign provides veterinary services to injured rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants and pangolins, in particular following the attentions of poachers; Mozambique vet school will receive support for establishing a teaching lab for its final-year students and the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust will also benefit. Finally, the Ethelbert Child and Youth Refuge centre in South Africa will receive financial support for its work with physically, mentally or sexually abused...

Categories: Journal news

Keeping dangerous pets

20 March 2020

At the last election, the three main political parties all included pledges to ban pet primates as part of their manifestos.

Since then, Defra has concluded its consultation into the welfare of pet primates and looks set to start the process of introducing a prohibition on keeping all primates (including marmoset monkeys, for which, amazingly, people do not need to obtain a licence to keep at home).

If written into law, such a ban would set a precedent. For the first time the UK would be banning a species or group of species from being kept as pets primarily because of welfare concerns. There are currently some legal restrictions on keeping certain species in private households – however, existing laws are based primarily on public safety or conservation reasons, not welfare grounds.

Moves towards this position, however, would surely prompt a question: which – if any – other wild...

Categories: Journal news

EMS to stop during coronavirus outbreak

20 March 2020

By Josh Loeb

The RCVS has announced the temporary suspension of all extramural studies (EMS) requirements for vet students in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Under normal circumstances, vet students would be required to complete a minimum of 38 weeks of EMS throughout their degree programme to gain real-life work experience to enhance their university-based studies.

However, following a teleconference between the Veterinary Schools Council and the RCVS last week, proposals to grant ‘flexibility’ around completion of EMS were emailed to members of RCVS council and were approved.

Now, in light of the evolving Covid-19 situation, students no longer have to undertake EMS over the next eight weeks, after which the situation will be reviewed. The suspension of EMS requirements applies to all students – regardless of their year of study.

Furthermore, for students in their final year who may now find it difficult to make up any...

Categories: Journal news

News section PDF

20 March 2020
Categories: Journal news

Possible cause of outbreak of prolific vomiting in dogs

12 March 2020

We recently wrote a letter reporting a potential outbreak of prolific vomiting in dogs with prolonged lethargy and inappetence, sometimes with diarrhoea (VR, 15 February 2020, vol 186, p 191). Data collected by practices participating in the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) also showed a profound rise in dogs presenting for non-specific gastroenteric disease, probably starting around November 2019 (see Fig 1 of the original letter). Statistical analysis has now confirmed this to be significantly outwith normal seasonal enteric disease fluctuation, therefore constituting an outbreak. Analysis of data submitted by laboratories to SAVSNET did not identify any equivalent increase in known enteric pathogen diagnoses. However, we did observe a regular winter peak in the proportion of dogs testing positive for canine enteric coronavirus (CECoV). Here, we describe the results of testing samples submitted by owners and vets from suspected prolific vomiting cases and 16 non-affected controls for CECoV.

...
Categories: Journal news

Daniella Dos Santos, BVA President, responds

12 March 2020

I respond as an individual and as BVA president, not as a representative for all signatories of the original letter (VR, 22 February 2020, vol 186, p 220).

Readers can see from these responses to our open letter that the old adage that you ‘can’t please all of the people all of the time’ is as true as it ever was. We have been really pleased to see many people welcoming and sharing the letter, but unfortunately this positive feedback comes hand in hand with comments that serve to prove our point while the authors miss it entirely.

At BVA we have always expected that members of the profession may interrogate, challenge or even criticise some of the positions that we take; this is a fundamental part of shaping and setting policy and something that we both invite and welcome. I note that the letters have no specific challenge...

Categories: Journal news

Our veterinary leaders need to show us some backbone

12 March 2020

What a pathetic, weak-willed letter from the leaders of our profession (VR, 22 February 2020, vol 186, p 220).

It is clearly self-evident that the disparaging and demeaning language referred to in the letter and used by some members of our profession in social media and online forums is totally unacceptable and intolerable.

However, surely the solution is to deal with it with some vigour, by directly challenging the culprits and the moderators who should be policing the sites concerned – not by bleating to the rest of us how unkind and unfair it all is.

Please show us some backbone and demonstrate why we were right to elect or appoint you to your current important leadership roles in the first place.

Categories: Journal news

Gathering information on gundog retirement

12 March 2020

All too often we seem to have to retire gundogs prematurely from working, and while we think we know the common reasons for why this is, the truth is no-one has reliable information. As such, I have launched an online questionnaire to collect information as to why gundogs in the UK are retired or stop working. The information collected will be used to produce a publication about the impact of health on the working life of gundogs.

Please help me by asking your clients with working gundogs to complete the questionnaire for each dog they have retired or that has died in the past 10 years (ie, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2019). It takes approximately three minutes to complete the questionnaire, which can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/2U7iBOh

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Categories: Journal news

Death notices

12 March 2020

Richardson On 9 June 2019, Susan Philippa Richardson, BVM&S, MRCVS, of Axminster, Devon. Miss Richardson qualified from Edinburgh in 1983.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m979

McGillivray On 5 September 2019, John McGillivray, BVMS, MRCVS, of Dorking, Surrey. Mr McGillivray qualified from Glasgow in 1991.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m980

Rae On 3 February, 2020, Alastair Montgomery Rae, BVM&S, MRCVS, of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. Mr Rae qualified from Edinburgh in 1968. His father, Alan Gordon Rae, and his younger brother, Douglas Graham Rae, also qualified from the ‘Dick’ vet school.

doi: 10.1136/vr.m981

Categories: Journal news

Lines of communication with clients

12 March 2020

Successfully communicating with clients is central to good veterinary care. But it can be difficult to get right – and when communication challenges crop up they can have a direct impact on your levels of stress and wellbeing. Here, Christine Magrath talks through some common scenarios and how to manage them effectively.

Categories: Journal news