No-deal Brexit could spark rise in demand for horse health checks

Oct 16, 2018

BVA issues warning amid concerns over veterinary shortages. A ‘no-deal’ Brexit could spark a rise in demand for vets to carry out testing on horses, the BVA has warned, at a time when the workforce is already experiencing significant shortages. The warning follows the publication of Defra’s technical notice on animal movements which suggests that, in a no-deal scenario, there could be hurdles to clear before horses are allowed to travel to the EU from the UK. The UK would be required to apply as a listed country before horses could travel, but horses would be subjected to a wide array of disease testing before they would be cleared. If additional blood tests are required, the increased cost is estimated to be between £200 and £500 depending on the third country category the UK is placed in after leaving the EU. Currently, a vet needs to hold a recognised equine exports qualification, in addition to their veterinary degree, to be authorised to sign an export health certificate. But a recent BVA survey... ...

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Zoetis sells antibiotics to India to fatten livestock

Oct 16, 2018

Undercover investigation reveals “double standard” in response to AMR. Leading animal health firm Zoetis has been selling antibiotics to India to help farmers fatten-up livestock, according to evidence published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ). The investigation found that antibiotics are being sold by veterinary drug stores over the counter to farmers without prescription. One of those antibiotics, Neftin-T, contains the antibiotic Tylosin, which Zoetis recommends feeding to chickens “to improve weight gain and FCR [feed conversion rate]”. An undercover investigator from the Bureau also spoke to a member of Zoetis’ Indian sales team who said it typically sold these antibiotics direct to farmers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation have called for a worldwide ban on the use of antibiotics to grow livestock. The practice was banned in the EU and the America two years ago in an attempt to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Ahead of the US ban, Zoetis ceased advertising antibiotics as growth promoters to American farmers and said... ...

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Disease-predicting blood test for cattle a ‘positive prospect’

Oct 16, 2018

A “simple” blood test could aid cattle health and productivity by predicting the likelihood of diseases developing, a study has suggested. Scientists believe testing female calves for molecules in the blood (miRNAs) could, in future, help predict their likelihood of developing disease. This is because blood levels of certain miRNAs change dramatically during the early life of cows, and some of these molecules are later associated with the occurrence of disease (lameness and mastitis), as well as milk production. Predicting that a procedure to identify calves likely to have problems later in life would benefit the dairy industry and improve animal welfare, researchers from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and The University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute embarked on a study to put their hypothesis to the test. The resulting research paper, published in Scientific Reports, provided evidence such a test may be possible to create, and would be advantageous in terms of boosting animal welfare and assisting the dairy industry. Early intervention Equipping farmers with such a test would mean they could... ...

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Evidence for amphibian CRGV link gathers pace

Oct 16, 2018

A fish vet believes she may have taken a step towards solving the mystery cause of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) in dogs, and is appealing to the profession to help further her research. Fiona Macdonald began looking into the possibility that the bacterial pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila might be involved in the aetiology of CRGV, also referred to as Alabama rot, three years ago. This bacterium is present in watercourses and soil, and is commonly associated with diseases of fish and amphibians. It is known to cause distinctive ulcerative skin lesions in fish, with subsequent kidney failure. Serology test Dr Macdonald, who receives funding from the New Forest Dog Owners Group, developed a serology test with Biobest Laboratories to look at the possibility of antibodies to A hydrophila. Samples were obtained from veterinary practices around the country – from Aberdeenshire to the south-west of England – mainly from both suspected and confirmed cases of CRGV, as well as in-contact dogs. Dr Macdonald expressed her surprise at the number of dogs showing antibody... ...

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No-deal impact on horse movement could see demand for vets and laboratory services skyrocketing

Oct 16, 2018

BVA has warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to a surge in demand for vets and laboratories to carry out testing on horses, at a time when the workforce is already facing significant shortfalls in capacity. The technical notice governing animal movements, published today by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), suggests that in a no-deal scenario there could be hurdles to clear before horses are permitted to travel to the EU from the UK.  The UK would have to apply to be a listed country before horses would be able to move, but horses would have to be subjected to a wide range of disease testing carried out by vets with the required qualifications before they were cleared for travel. The increased cost if additional blood tests are required is estimated to be between £200 and £500 depending on the third country category the UK is placed in after leaving the EU. Under the current system, a vet needs to hold a recognised equine exports... ...

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