Discovery offers hope for northern white rhino

Nov 12, 2018

Study shows proof of contact between northern and southern populations The northern white rhino could be saved from extinction by using the genes of its less-threatened southern cousin, according to new research. The discovery was made by researchers from Cardiff University and the University of Venda, South Africa, following a genetic analysis of 232 rhino samples. Researchers found that despite the northern and southern populations splitting around one million years ago, they have occasionally shared genes during cold and arid periods – as recently as 14,000 years ago when African grasslands expanded. “By looking at the white rhino’s population history we’ve been able to establish that there was contact between northern and southern rhino populations throughout history,” said Dr Isa-Rita Russo from Cardiff University. “This is an exciting find! Genetic proof of contact between the populations suggests it may be possible to successfully rescue the northern white rhinoceros using southern white rhinoceros genes to create embryos, although further data would need to be collected to confirm this.” There are currently... ...

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Calls to provide funding for sheep scab in Wales

Nov 12, 2018

Industry group responds to report on insidious disease. An industry-led group is calling on the government to provide funding to help eradicate sheep scab in Wales. The call from the Welsh sheep scab industry group comes in response to its report (published 7 November) which makes a number of recommendations for the control of the disease. Compiled by farming unions, veterinary practitioners and industry stakeholders, the report recognises the need for treatment to be coordinated across neighbouring premises. Sheep scab is an insidious disease that has serious welfare implications for infected sheep. Previous attempts to eradicate the disease have had limited success, in part due to treatment plans which have attempted to control the disease on a farm-by-farm basis. The group says that, if funded, it would put a sheep scab control programme in place which would increase the chance of neighbouring farms working together to eliminate this disease. The National Sheep Association, which helped compile the report, said: “It is this fresh perspective on the disease that makes the... ...

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Brexit poses ‘complex and unique’ challenges for vets in Northern Ireland, warns British Veterinary Association

Nov 12, 2018

British Veterinary Association (BVA) President Simon Doherty championed the vital work of vets in Northern Ireland across multiple areas and called for urgent action to guard against a serious shortfall in workforce capacity following Brexit. The call in his speech at BVA’s Annual Northern Ireland Dinner came amid growing concerns about how withdrawal from the European Union may impact on vets working in Northern Ireland, especially in the event of a no deal Brexit. If no agreement is reached, there could be a surge in demand for veterinary checks on animals and animal products at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, and the workforce will be stretched further if more vets are required to carry out rabies vaccination and testing under more stringent pet travel requirements. Addressing over 90 guests at the dinner at Stormont, including MLAs, DAERA Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon, Northern Ireland’s Chief Veterinary Officer Robert Huey, key representatives from animal health and welfare organisations and colleagues from across the veterinary profession, BVA’s President said: “A no... ...

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British Veterinary Association warns that no deal pet travel arrangements will impact on vets and owners

Nov 12, 2018

BVA has warned that pet owners must start preparing now if they want to take their pet to the EU after Brexit, in case a no deal situation leaves them facing long waits to get them cleared for travel. If the UK has “unlisted” third country status following withdrawal from the EU, dogs, cats and ferrets would need to prove they have been effectively vaccinated against rabies by undergoing a rabies antibody titration test at least thirty days after vaccination and no fewer than three months before their travel date.  Pets would need to travel with an animal health certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian, which would then be valid for ten days from the date of issue until entry into EU member states. BVA has warned that the changes could lead to a surge in demand for vets to carry out testing and vaccination, at a time when the workforce is also experiencing shortages and recruitment problems. Simon Doherty, BVA President, said: “Vets are urging pet owners to start... ...

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Breakthrough in hunt for R. equi vaccine

Nov 12, 2018

Disease causes severe pneumonia and can affect other organs. US researchers have made a significant breakthrough in the pursuit of a vaccine against Rhodococcus equi. A study published in PLOS One describes the trial of a vaccine, which scientists say has the potential to save thousands of foals every year. The research was carried out by researchers at Texas A&M University and Harvard Medical School. Senior author Dr Noah Cohen said: “After many decades of efforts, our research, funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, has led to the first effective vaccine protecting folks against infection with R.equi, considered the most common and important form of pneumonia in foals older than a few weeks of age.” R. equi is a deadly disease that causes severe, insidiously progressive pneumonia. With a 20 to 40 per cent fatality rate, the condition can also affect the bones, abdominal lymph nodes, joints, eyes and brain. In the trial, Dr Cohen and his team set out to see if vaccinating mares at three and six weeks prior to the birth of... ...

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Boehringer Ingelheim becomes an official partner to CatCareforLife

Nov 12, 2018

The CatCareforLife program is a new worldwide initiative set up by the International Society of Feline Medicine It aims to encourage cat owners to work with their veterinary clinics to maintain cats in the peak of health through all their life stages Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to further improving the health and well-being of cats and helping educate veterinarians and cat owners Ingelheim, Germany, 7 November 2018 – Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to announce its new partnership with the CatCareforLife  program. The program was set up in April 2018 by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the veterinary division of the UK-based charity International Cat Care (ICC). Both Boehringer Ingelheim and ICC share a common commitment in providing support for veterinarians and cat owners alike to ensure cats enjoy longer, happier and healthier lives, through an effective and tailored preventive healthcare approach. The CatCareforLife program sits alongside the Cat Friendly Clinic program which offers internationally-recognized standards to help reduce stress of cats during veterinary visits. It is a lifelong partnership of care between cat owners and veterinary clinics... ...

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The OIE Rinderpest Challenge: the winners

Nov 12, 2018

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has officially closed the OIE Rinderpest Challenge. For the duration of four weeks, players across the globe competitively diagnosed patients in order to find the outbreak of Rinderpest and win points for their country. On Nov 7th 2018, the OIE announced the winner country, as well as the player with the highest score from this country. Paris, 7 November 2018 – Rinderpest is the first animal disease to have been declared eradicated by the OIE and the FAO but a resurgence is still possible. In the Rinderpest Vigilance Serious Game, the disease returns from the past and players must find the source of the outbreak. This past October, players from around the world participated in the OIE Rinderpest Challenge by playing the game to learn how to diagnose Rinderpest, how to handle potentially dangerous material in laboratories with caution, and to win points for their country. The challenge lasted for four weeks between October 4th and November 1st and gathered over 1200 participants from 89 different... ...

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Veterinarians Asked to Contribute to WSAVA Global Wellness Initiative

Nov 12, 2018

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is urging companion animal veterinarians globally to complete a multi-lingual online questionnaire from its newly formed Professional Wellness Group (PWG). Data from the survey will help the PWG to establish a benchmark for veterinary wellness in different regions of the world and inform its work to create tools and resources to support the health and wellbeing of all veterinary professionals. There is increased recognition that stress and their demanding workplace environment are adversely affecting the mental well-being and physical health of many veterinarians. A study* estimates that the incidence of suicide in the veterinary profession in countries such as the USA, UK, Australia and Norway is double that of other healthcare professionals and four times that of the general population. The WSAVA PWG has embarked on a three-year project to review state-of-the art thinking on this issue and aims to provide a uniquely global perspective that recognizes the regional, economic and cultural aspects that may affect the prevalence and impact of veterinary wellness... ...

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UK veterinary antibiotic sales lowest in 25 years

Nov 6, 2018

Report shows 18 per cent fall between 2016 and 2017. Sales of veterinary antibiotics in the UK have fallen to their lowest level in 25 years, according to a report published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The 2017 UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) report shows that sales of veterinary antibiotics fell by 18 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to reach a low of 37mg/kg. Sales have also fallen 40 per cent since the publication of the UK AMR strategy in 2013. The report also found that sales of the highest priority critically important antibiotics fell by 29 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to 0.8 per cent of sales. Rural affairs and biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner said: “These results show an encouraging reduction of antibiotic use in pigs, poultry and other food-producing animals. I hope that the results will set a further example for our food and farming sectors to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance. “As we know, good farm management, biosecurity and animal husbandry systems... ...

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New swine influenza vaccine available

Nov 6, 2018

A newly developed vaccine against swine influenza is being launched in the UK by Hysolv Animal Health UK. The company said Respiporc FLUpan H1N1 protects against the pandemic strain of flu pdmH1N1(2009), which is particularly prevalent in the British Isles. Three weeks Two 1ml doses of the inactivated vaccine can be injected intramuscularly three weeks apart to pigs from 56 days old, providing immunisation to the majority of animals within seven days. Developed by IDT Biologika, the vaccine has been successfully used in Germany, where 1.7 million doses have been prescribed. Field trials have shown vaccination not only protected against clinical signs of influenza, it resulted in improvements in reproduction and piglet performance. Tandem The company is advising using the new vaccine in tandem with its existing vaccine – Respiporc FLU3 – to broaden protection. Respiporc FLU3 confers protection against three other strains of swine flu (H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2) and the company stated, when used together, “the two vaccines protect pigs against the most relevant strains in the British... ...

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