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Comparison of postmortem inspection procedures for detecting caseous lymphadenitis of Australian sheep and goats

Alternative postmortem inspection procedures for the detection of gross abnormalities due to Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA) of sheep and goats were compared quantitatively against the current Australian Standard (AS4696). Studies on sheep and goats in Australia during 2016 addressed data gaps regarding current prevalence, combinations of multiple lesions within affected carcases and sensitivity of inspection procedures enabling a comparison of alternative with current procedures. Using these contemporary inspection data from 54 915 sheep and 48 577 goats a desktop study estimated the effect of implementing alternative procedures of reduced palpation from eleven carcase sites to the four sites most commonly affected. Under current procedures it was estimated that 86 sheep and 34 goat carcases with CLA lesions are missed per 10,000 carcases. Under alternative procedures it is estimated that an additional 48.4 sheep and 10.5 goat carcases with CLA lesions would be missed per 10 000 carcases. Of these, 38.2 sheep and 5.6 goat per 10 000 carcases would contain CLA only in routinely discarded, non-edible tissue sites. Hence, only an additional 10.2 sheep and 4.9 goat carcases per 10 000 inspected, with CLA in edible tissue sites are estimated to be missed. These alternative procedures have now been officially implemented in the Australian domestic standard.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

Quarantining infected bees reduces foulbrood outbreaks

B. Locke, M. Low, E. Forsgren

Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2019) 167, 48–52

doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.03.023

• What did the research find?

Clinical signs of American foulbrood (AFB), caused by Paenibacillus larvae, were not observed after the first year of the management strategy being implemented. During the five years of the study, the proportion of apiaries harbouring P larvae spores decreased from 74 per cent to 4 per cent. The proportion of infected colonies with the highest spore counts disproportionately declined so that, by the end of the study, the only remaining infected apiaries had very low spore counts.

• How was it conducted?

The five-year study was conducted within a commercial beekeeping operation in central Sweden that had previously experienced reoccurring AFB outbreaks. Colonies were regularly monitored for clinical signs of AFB, and any affected colonies were burned. Samples were taken from adult bees...

Categories: Journal news

Feeding garden birds

The recent report from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)1 presented scientific evidence that providing garden birds with supplementary diets supports and augments the numbers of garden birds in Britain.

The findings detailed in the BTO study are to be welcomed. For years there has been debate, sometimes a degree of acrimony, regarding the pros and cons of garden bird feeding. The British have long been enjoying the company of birds in their gardens by providing them with food; however, the real pioneer and initial proponent of the practice was the eminent naturalist (and MI5 agent), Maxwell Knight. Knight was a great friend of the veterinary profession and author of the book ‘Bird Gardening. How to Attract Birds’2. Knight emphasised that putting out food for garden birds appeared to cause no harm as it probably did a lot to help birds during the winter months,...

Categories: Journal news

Treating injured hedgehogs

I have rescued hedgehogs for approximately 25 years and in that time I have found that a number of veterinary practices provide incorrect information to the public when contacted about a sick or injured hedgehog. I appreciate that the people taking these calls are simply trying to help; however, the wrong advice can be fatal to the hedgehog.

So, here is my small plea. If you have never dealt with an injured hedgehog in practice or simply don’t know the answer, please refrain for giving advice which may prove harmful to the animal. There is nothing wrong with admitting you are unable to help – after 25 years, I still rely on the expertise and experience of larger rescue centres.

If you wish to help support the hedgehog, whose population is declining in the UK, then please contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk) who hold a...

Categories: Journal news

What price cheap food?

In June I attended a seminar at the University of Glasgow’s veterinary school given by Jim Reynolds of Western University, California, speaking on farm animal welfare.

He was also the primary subject of a news piece on the Animal Welfare Foundation discussion forum (VR, 15 June 2019, vol 184, p 727), on the same topic.

In the seminar, I was able to hear a more nuanced view with regard to any national comparisons. However, what did appear from our discussion was that the forces for ‘cheap high-quality animal protein’ is forcing farmers, in the USA, UK and elsewhere, to increase their economies of scale in their livestock management, leading to veterinarians doing their best to mitigate some of the welfare consequences when this goes wrong.

In my opinion, we are all guilty of not articulating our worries sufficiently and the unpalatable truth is that until the consumer is prepared...

Categories: Journal news

Correction: Raising eyebrows over the evolution of puppy dog eyes

News and reports: Raising eyebrows over the evolution of puppy dog eyes (VR, 29 June 2019, vol 184, pp 786-787). An incorrect paper was cited. The correct paper is www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/06/11/1820653116.short. The error is regretted.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l4601

Categories: Journal news

Correction: Medicines update

Medicines update (VR, 29 June 2019, vol 184, pp 789-790). In Table 1, the active ingredient for Merial’s Afoxolaner products should have been stated as afoxolaner. The VMD regrets the error.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l4602

Categories: Journal news

Changes to meat consumption

I loved seeing the editorial title ‘Is the end of eating meat in sight?’ (VR, 15 June 2019, vol 184, p 725).

Although I see an endless stream of memes and articles on social media foreseeing the end of the carnivore age (perhaps down to targeted ads), I did not expect to see this in Vet Record.

What a great read, and just what I was hoping to see acknowledged within the veterinary profession – a positive response to the dietary changes taking place in the wider world.

Awareness of the climate crisis and animal welfare conditions – as mentioned in ‘US professor slams American farm vets for "not speaking out" on welfare’, a news article in the same issue (p 272) – and the health benefits of a plant-based diet, means an increasing number of people are turning away from meat.

The profession needs to be open to...

Categories: Journal news

Badgers and bovine TB

Tom Langton (VR, 8 June 2019, vol 184, p 715) rightly takes issue with the modelled data from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). However, he should have looked further back before declaring that the badger cull policy is not evidence based.

The several trials at Thornbury, Steeple Leaze, Hartland Point and the two trials in Ireland1 before the RBCT, provide ample evidence of the effectiveness of badger culling in the control of bovine TB (bTB).

In contrast with the RBCT, all five of these trials recorded culling rates in excess of 80 per cent and a dramatic reduction (80 to 100 per cent) in the incidence of bTB in associated cattle herds. The Thornbury trial in 1975 eradicated bTB in cattle for 10 years before the area was allowed to recolonise with badgers and the disease returned.

In contrast, the RBCT recorded hopelessly inadequate culling rates...

Categories: Journal news

Death notices

O’Brien On 6 June 2019, Mark Alasdair O’Brien, BA, VetMB, PhD, MPhil, MRCVS, of Exeter, Devon. Dr O’Brien qualified from Cambridge in 1988.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l4600

Categories: Journal news

Do we need an evidence manifesto?

In the first of a new evidence column, Rachel Dean and Carl Heneghan argue that while evidence-based veterinary medicine is not perfect we need to stop grumbling about the shortcomings and get on with it in practice

Categories: Journal news

Why its a bright idea to look on the bright side

In the frequently stressful environment that is veterinary practice, it can be tricky to retain a positive outlook. But, as Penny Barker explains, there can be real benefits from a conscious effort to focus on the good.

Categories: Journal news

Charge towards the positive

Need a little inspiration on how to tap into those positive emotions? Penny Barker offers five quick exercises which can help push you towards the positive.


Try smiling for at least a minute and you should feel your emotions change. If you can, smile at someone else for no reason (though perhaps not for a whole minute!). We are a social species and both smiling ourselves and seeing someone else smile has a positive impact on our physiology and emotional state, as well as that of others.

Focus on the positives of the day

Name five things that were good about today. This is particularly useful in helping you reframe a bad day and is a good exercise to do with your team. We are far more likely to focus on the negatives as often those emotions are more powerful, but drawing our mind to even the...

Categories: Journal news

Building blocks of a mentally healthy workplace

As an employer, you have a legal duty of care to those you employ. But have you considered that that duty extends to supporting their mental health? Here Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, suggests some ways to go about building a mentally healthy working environment.

Categories: Journal news

Five ways to reinforce your mental wellbeing

The often demanding nature of veterinary practice can have a negative impact on mental health. Rosie Allister, helpline manager at Vetlife, offers five top tips that can help reinforce your wellbeing.

Categories: Journal news

An interest in orthopaedics led me to sports medicine and rehabilitation

Danae Charalambous is the first European resident in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Categories: Journal news


Specialist dental vet Gerhard Putter qualified as a diplomat of the European Veterinary Dental College in 2018 and was presented with his diploma at the European Veterinary Dental Forum event in Utrecht in May. Having qualified from the University of Pretoria in 1984, he has been a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists since 2014. He is currently working with Independent Vetcare to develop Specialist Dental Vet, a new multisite practice that will operate from Mulberry Vets in Sudbury, Byre Referrals in Peterborough and Wood Street Vet Hospital in Barnet.

Jeremy Mantell has been appointed welfare consultant to Retraining of Racehorses, British horseracing’s charity for retired racehorses. He will be responsible for assessing former racehorses deemed ‘vulnerable or unwanted’ and monitoring their progress within the charity’s vulnerable horse scheme. A past president of the British Equine Veterinary Association, Mantell was also a managing partner...

Categories: Journal news

Making the evidence base more useful

This week Vet Record launches a new column – The Evidence Base – which, over a series of eight articles, will aim to interrogate evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) and examine how it could be done better and be made more relatable for those in practice.

The first column is authored by vet Rachel Dean, director of clinical research and excellence in practice for VetPartners, and doctor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine at the University of Oxford (pp 58–59).

Dean and Heneghan make the case that everyone should be involved in EBVM and they question whether the veterinary world should have its own version of the evidence-based medicine manifesto. Published in 2017, it was designed to reduce bias, wastage and error in research that informs patient care in human medicine.

The series will go on to look at elements of the manifesto from a veterinary perspective.

Categories: Journal news

'Shocking levels of discrimination found

By Georgina Mills

Almost 30 per cent of vet professionals have experienced or witnessed some sort of discrimination in the workplace or in a learning environment.

Findings from a BVA discrimination survey found that of the incidents that have taken place, some 43 per cent have been related to sex discrimination, 26 per cent to race and 13 per cent to pregnancy/parental leave.

Other specific examples of discrimination include that of age, disability, sexual orientation and religion.

The survey, which was carried out earlier this year and received an unprecedented 2445 responses, aimed to capture the first-hand experiences of discrimination of vets, vet nurses, students and other veterinary team members.

Alongside the discrimination survey, the association also released figures from its spring Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey this week (1551 responses), which included questions on discrimination for the first time.

The Voice survey found that victims of discrimination...

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