Veterinary Record latest issue

Syndicate content Veterinary Record
Veterinary Record rss feed
Updated: 12 min 28 sec ago

Selected highlights from other journals

23 May 2019
Genetic improvement of hip-extended scores in dogs

E. A. Leighton, D. Holle, D. N. Biery and others

PLoS ONE (2019) 14

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212544

• What did the research find?

Estimates of heritability for the hip-extended score were 0.76, 0.72 and 0.41 in German shepherd dogs (GSDs), labrador retrievers (LRs) and golden retrievers (GRs), respectively. Among first-generation puppies, 34 per cent of GSDs, 55 per cent of LRs and 43 per cent of GRs had an excellent hip-extended score. After eight generations of selection, this improved to 93 per cent of GSDs, 94 per cent of LRs and 87 per cent of GRs. However, at least half of the dogs with an excellent hip-extended score remained susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.

• How was it conducted?

Records for purebred GSDs (n=5201), LRs (n=4987) and GRs (n=2308) born at The Seeing Eye, New Jersey, USA, from 1976 to 2013 were included in...

Categories: Journal news

Releasing grey squirrels into the wild

23 May 2019

I write in response to Craig Shuttleworth and colleagues (VR, 23 March 2019, vol 184, p 389).

Grey squirrels are accused of causing significant timber loss and harming the ecosystem. It is indisputable that squirrels of any colour feed on trees. However, this is cosmetic only, it does not kill the tree except in the unusual circumstance where the squirrels create a ‘collar’ of stripped bark around the main trunk.

Squirrels are essential for natural forest regeneration by caching seeds and nuts and leaving a proportion of them to grow into new trees. The Forestry Commission estimates that up to 5 per cent of trees damaged by squirrels may die, but timber yield will not be affected unless 30 per cent of the canopy is lost.1

Grey squirrels are also accused of being the primary cause of red squirrel decline through competition for resources and spreading squirrelpox,...

Categories: Journal news

Allowing RVNs to inspect practices

23 May 2019

I write in response to Josh Loeb’s report ‘Calls to allow RVNs to inspect practices’ (VR, 18 May 2019, vol 184, p 607). While I don’t want to deprive Andrea Jeffrey of her ‘bottom dollar’, I can assure her that there are practices where veterinary surgeons and other non-registered veterinary nurse (RVN) staff administer Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) assessments. I also object to Jo Dyer’s comment that nurses ‘tend to be the ones most closely involved in preparing for inspections and demonstrating compliance with the PSS standards in practice.’ This might be the case in some practices, but not all.

There are some vets and other staff who are barely capable of administering their own time sheets let alone the PSS assessment

The whole team should be involved in preparation and compliance, but this is rarely the case. However, to imply that RVNs bear the bulk of this...

Categories: Journal news

Payment in 'sweet treats?

23 May 2019

It seems unfair of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (BSAVA) president, Sue Paterson, to blame James Herriot for the current financial woes of the profession (VR, 27 April 2019, vol 184, p 514).

Of greater relevance is the recent BVA and RCVS joint submission to the Migration Advisory Committee,1 although admittedly a less entertaining read.

In it the BVA and RCVS demanded ‘no minimum earning cap for veterinary surgeons applying for work visas, on the basis that veterinary surgeons are "skilled professionals who may choose to work in the UK for reasons other than remuneration"’.

I guess those reasons may include the ‘slices of cake and other sweet treats’ to which Paterson refers, but clearly contrast with her belief that ‘vets need to see themselves as highly trained professionals and charge accordingly’.

Categories: Journal news

Representing the profession

23 May 2019

I write following Hugh Davies’s letter (VR, 18 May 2019, vol 184, p 624) in which he expresses a view that to be tie-less is to insult ones hosts and a disgrace.

I have known Simon Doherty (the current BVA president) for a number of years. Over that time I have known him to be congenial, knowledgeable, supportive, respectful, thoughtful, welcoming, warm, engaging and tenacious in his commitment to advocating on behalf of our profession.

I have known many ties over my 41 years of life to date and the best I can say for them is that some were shiny.

Anybody Doherty meets in his role as president is interested in meeting him ... not the piece of knotted silk that he may or may not choose to wear

I would hope that as a profession of intelligent empaths we might see beyond a choice about dress...

Categories: Journal news

Death notice

23 May 2019

Richer On 7 March 2019, Mark Richer, BVetMed, CertSAM, MRCVS, of Fordingbridge, Hampshire. Mr Richer qualified from London in 1993.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l3105

Categories: Journal news

Representing the profession

23 May 2019

At the risk of starting tie-gate I feel I must respond to Hugh Davies’s letter (VR, 18 May 2019, vol 184, p 624). While Davies feels insulted and disappointed by the BVA president’s lack of a tie at Westminster Hall, I must respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree with him. Due to the superb work of the BVA team and officers, the veterinary profession’s voice is being heard on numerous important issues at all levels of government and not one bit of this is related to the wearing of a tie. It is in fact down to hard work, evidence and passion for the profession. I have the utmost respect for Simon Doherty, for his commitment to the profession, evidenced approach and passion to make sure that the BVA and the future of the profession is inclusive for all.

The work done by the BVA to look at motivation, satisfaction and...

Categories: Journal news

Although I never had a clear plan to be a specialist, I have ended up where I wanted

23 May 2019

Ed Hall initially planned to be a veterinary researcher, but he let his interests guide his career and is now the UK’s only recognised veterinary specialist in gastroenterology.

Categories: Journal news

Medivet Unveils Graduate Development Plans for 2019

23 May 2019

Medivet is launching a graduate development programme to support newly qualified vets through one-to-one in-practice training. The programme will match graduates with dedicated clinicians who will be their first point of contact for advice – both clinical and non-clinical – delivering tailored coaching and training. It will allow graduates to work off rota, side-by-side with their mentors in practice for 12 weeks of the year-long course.

The scheme, devised by Medivet’s head of vet development and future vet recruitment, Daniel Preter (pictured), includes 17 modules of key clinical and non-clinical subjects including surgery, dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology, ultrasound, cardiology and exotics as well as mental health, leadership and resilience.

Preter said: ‘We are passionate about attracting the best new vets into the Medivet Group and offering them the support, guidance and training they need to make the challenging transition from university to consulting room. Our new training programme will help...

Categories: Journal news

Honorary fellowships recognise contributions to forensic pathology and animal law

23 May 2019

Vet John Cooper and his wife Margaret, a lawyer, have each been awarded an honorary fellowship of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM) of the Royal College of Physicians of London. The awards recognise their contributions to veterinary pathology, animal law and forensic medicine, and were presented by the college’s president Carol Seymour at the FFLM’s annual general meeting, which was held in Cardiff on 9 May. ‘Delighted and honoured’ to receive the award, the couple said: ‘It is so nice that our modest contributions to the field of forensic medicine over the past 30 years have been recognised in this way. We are particularly happy that we both received this award.’

Categories: Journal news

BVA presence at buckingham palace garden party

23 May 2019

Each summer, people from all walks of life are invited to join members of the Royal family at the Queen’s garden parties. BVA senior vice president John Fishwick attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 15 May. He is pictured (second from right) on the steps of the newly refurbished BVA headquarters, with (from left) his son Roy, wife Nienke and daughter Sarah, Megan Knowles-Bacon (BVA policy officer) and Mandy Ryan (head of media and public affairs).

Categories: Journal news

Dont let the anti-vaxers win

23 May 2019

‘I fear it will take an outbreak of canine distemper or infectious canine hepatitis to bring home to people just how important vaccination is.’

That was one vet’s take on what he described as a perfect storm, arising from a fall in the vaccination rate in dogs combined with their importation from abroad.

It would be hard to argue that in the UK we have achieved herd immunity to several potentially fatal diseases affecting dogs and cats.

The proportion of dogs and cats receiving their primary course of vaccinations when young (along with the proportion receiving ‘boosters’) is now so low that, all else being equal, it’s a matter of when, not if, a serious outbreak occurs.

Dog carriers have already exposed people to leptospirosis, which is zoonotic. The BVA and others are rightly raising the alarm, drawing comparisons with worrying trends in human health.

In Europe, for example,...

Categories: Journal news

Show animals should be vaccinated, say experts

23 May 2019

By Josh Loeb

The UK’s major dog and cat shows have differing stances on vaccination, with the Kennel Club allowing unvaccinated animals to attend its events but the cat equivalent organisation banning them.

The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), which runs the annual Supreme Cat Show, does not allow unvaccinated animals at its events under any circumstances.

GCCF confirmed all cats attending its events must be vaccinated with the relevant vaccines stipulated by the committee in charge for the breed concerned.

Signed veterinary proof of vaccination is requested as a matter of routine and is kept on file.

‘Cats are in close proximity and there are lots of them at a show – anything from 60 to a few hundred. We don’t want bad viruses spreading,’ a spokesperson said.

The Kennel Club, by contrast, is more equivocal. It does permit unvaccinated dogs at its events, such as...

Categories: Journal news

News section PDF

23 May 2019
Categories: Journal news

Halloween Brexit is bad news for sheep farmers

23 May 2019

‘Crashing out’ of the EU in late October would be worse for some sheep farmers than if a no-deal Brexit had happened on the original 29 March exit date.

That is the view of Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association.

He said: ‘A lot of the more remote area sheep farmers, like those in Scotland for example, will just be coming into selling their lambs into the European market in October, so if we were to crash out then, then for some farms – particularly in the more remote areas and the more upland areas – that would probably affect them more than it would have if the same thing had happened in March.’

The sheep meat sector is widely acknowledged as being one of the most exposed to the potential damage of a no-deal Brexit. The UK is the world’s third largest exporter of sheep meat,...

Categories: Journal news

'I stepped out of my comfort zone and built a new career

16 May 2019

Mark Little gained an interest in nutrition while working as a vet on farms. As technical manager for Trouw Nutrition, he is studying feeding livestock for good health, supported by a Nuffield Scholarship.

Categories: Journal news

People

16 May 2019

Medivet has appointed Ciara McCormack as its new head of clinical operations; she also becomes a member of the Medivet Group Board. Her role will include shaping the clinical operations team and supporting practices as they integrate into the business, as well as being involved in overseeing further investment in and development of key business systems and processes.

Ian Cure has been appointed farm director of VetPartners, following the group’s acquisition of LLM Farm Vets. He said: ‘It wasn’t our plan to join a group, but we found that VetPartners shared our values and our vision for the future of the profession, which made us enthusiastic to be part of their journey.’ Another key factor in LLM’s decision was that VetPartners is part-owned and run by vets, he said. VetPartners says there will be ‘no slowing down’ of its expansion as it continues to look for new practices and...

Categories: Journal news

Is all non-stun slaughter the same?

16 May 2019

The BVA’s policy on non-stun slaughter is clear. The association is opposed to non-stun slaughter – full stop. Indeed, it believes non-stun slaughter should be banned.

That’s hardly surprising. In general, there is consensus among vets that non-stun methods of slaughtering livestock are worse for welfare than using a captive bolt gun, electrical waterbath or other means of rendering an animal insensible to pain before slaughtering it.

However, ‘in general’ is the operative phrase. In one specific area – namely, non-stun slaughter of poultry – that consensus appears less strong. Several vets who are implacably opposed to non-stun slaughter of cattle and sheep have acknowledged that the situation as regards birds is more complex.

Some senior vets have told me they ‘don’t really have a problem’ with the Jewish method of slaughter, known as shechita, in the specific case of poultry. They cite differences in the anatomy of birds...

Categories: Journal news

Is shechita really any worse than waterbath?

16 May 2019

By Josh Loeb

There is ‘little, if any’ evidence that a widely used mechanical system employed to stun poultry is more humane than the non-stun religious method of slaughter used by observant Jews.

That is the view of two experts on welfare at slaughter to whom the BVA looks for advice.

Steve Wotton, who has worked extensively in the field of livestock welfare, said ‘very little’ research had been done comparing the shechita slaughtering method with the electrical waterbath system from the perspective of poultry welfare.

He said: ‘The fact that I am not aware of any scientific evidence to suggest that non-stun slaughter of poultry is not humane does not mean that it is humane, just that there is little if any scientific evidence.’

Without evidence it is difficult to argue the case

He added: ‘I base my observations on science, and without evidence it is difficult...

Categories: Journal news

News section PDF

16 May 2019
Categories: Journal news