EU court backs neonicotinoids ban

May 21, 2018

Legal action against 2013 ban dismissed  An EU court has upheld a partial ban on three neonicotinoids that have been linked to declining bee populations. In 2013, the European Commission placed restrictions on clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, owing to evidence of the threats they pose to bees. Bayer, which developed clothianidin and imidacloprid, and Syngenta, which developed thiamethoxam, challenged the regulation. However, the General Court of the European Union said yesterday (17 May) that it upholds the ban and ‘dismisses in their entirety the actions brought by Bayer and Syngenta’. The ruling states that the commission had correctly applied the ‘precautionary principles’, which allow protective measures to be taken without having to wait until harm occurs, when there is scientific uncertainty about the risks to human health or the environment. A recent report by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) found that all neonicotinoids pose a threat to many bee species, regardless of how or where they are used in the environment. Last month, a majority of EU member states... ...

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Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

May 21, 2018

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership. Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.   ...

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Homeless pets sing for royal couple

May 21, 2018

Beagle pup and a Shetland pony star in tribute to Harry and Meghan With royal wedding fever sweeping the nation, one animal charity has come up with a novel way to celebrate the upcoming nuptials: getting their animals to sing a rendition of Here Comes the Bride. Blue Cross says that dozens of dogs, cats and horses from its rehoming centres across the UK feature on the track, created as a special gift for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. They include a beagle pup named Marley, four adorable short-haired kittens and a Shetland pony named Tristan. Meghan Markle is a huge animal lover and her adopted beagle Guy made the move to the UK when the royal couple got engaged last year. Sadly her Labrador-shepherd mix Bogart had to remain in Canada as he was too old to make the journey. “We know that Meghan Markle is a huge fan of rescue pets and the fantastic support she provides for animals is something we want to celebrate,” said Mandy Jones,... ...

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New pig virus could be a threat to humans

May 21, 2018

Study shows virus can transmit to people, cats and chickens A recently discovered pig virus could spread to humans and other animals, a study has shown. Porcine deltacoronavirus was first detected in pigs in China in 2012 and has since spread to various other countries. It causes acute diarrhoea and vomiting in young infected pigs and can even be fatal. So far, no human cases have been reported but scientists are concerned about the possibility. Public health experts are particularly concerned about the emergence of this virus, because of its similarity to the life-threatening viruses responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). New research published online in the journal PNAS suggests that porcine coronavirus could go into the cells of different species, including humans. Scientists from Ohio State University and Utrecht University looked at a cellular receptor called aminopeptidase N. The potential for a virus to cross species is known to be highly dependent on its ability to bind to receptors on the cells... ...

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THE REAL COST OF OWNING A PET

May 21, 2018

  New study reveals just how much Britons are spending on their pet each month – including £240 on average for a dog and £100 for a cat   New study from MORE TH>N reveals that in spite of these high costs, the majority of pet owners – 58% of dog owners and 83% of cat owners – did no research into their prospective pet and associated costs ahead of owning it Survey also reveals that 60% of dog owners have insurance for their canine, in comparison to a paltry 30% of cat owners, which can mean expensive repercussions for many in the event their pet does fall ill New research released as part of the launch of the MORE TH>N Future of Pet Ownership Report – a comprehensive new study that looks at the state of the nation’s pets based on a survey of 10,000 owners across the UK   The financial burden of owning a pet in Britain has been revealed today in a new report from MORE... ...

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Scientists and vets call for a labelling scheme for pets

May 21, 2018

A scientific report published in the new issue of the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour calls for a ‘pet-labelling scheme’ to enable informed decision-making by consumers about the types of animals they keep. The Brighton-based Animal Protection Agency supports the proposed scheme, which they say is much-needed to ensure people don’t acquire difficult or demanding pets. Authors of the report entitled, ‘Exotic pet suitability: understanding some problems and using a labeling system to aid animal welfare, environment and consumer protection‘, conclude that the more scientists learn about the needs of exotic animals, the more they appreciate their complexity and how generally unsuited they are to life as pets. Also, the time, money and expertise in keeping, particularly exotic, animals is commonly underestimated. In addition to many species being unable to adapt to captivity, the report highlights low quality care information given by animal dealers and hobbyists as a cause of animal suffering and premature mortality, for instance, at least 75% of reptiles die within their first year in the home. Many... ...

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Simplyhealth Professionals welcomes new Head of Vets Customer Service

May 21, 2018

Simplyhealth Professionals, the UK’s leading provider of preventive health plans for cats, dogs, rabbits and horses, has recruited Paul Cuglietta to be Head of Vets Customer Services. Paul will be looking for ways to both develop the existing customer service function and improve customer experience more generally. Despite having been in the new role for just a few short weeks, Paul has already been able to improve call waiting times in May to an average of just over 3 minutes, during the busiest time of the year. He says a focus on being agile, responsive and innovative will ensure that Simplyhealth Professionals continues to develop best in class service during a period of significant growth. Having gained experience on the dental side of the business, Paul says he was amazed at the rapid pace of change he sees in the veterinary sector, “We’re looking at products and services that will help practices evolve and keep pace with the growing number of clients using pet health plans. Tools that help businesses... ...

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Brand New Series from Animal Planet Highlights Powerful Bonds Between Animals And People

May 21, 2018

All new series from Animal Planet and The Dodo, DODO HEROES will feature inspiring stories of animals in need from around the world, and the compassionate humans who go to unimaginable lengths to give them hope. With each episode focusing on one inspiring and moving story of people who go to any lengths to help animals, the series will explore the personalities and emotions of both humans and animals, while highlighting their unique connection. DODO HEROES marks Animal Planet’s first-ever global series launch which will premiere in the UK on Animal Planet June 9th at 9pm DODO HEROES includes: British Marine Pen Farthing who runs Nowzad, Afghanistan’s first and only official animal sanctuary which houses over 150 animals rescued from the streets of Kabul. Derrick Campana who runs Animal OrthoCare and is one of only a handful of people in the world who specialize in designing prosthetics and orthotic braces for animals. The Bee family who are fighting to save Australia’s rapidly declining koala population. Katherine Connor and her five children who... ...

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Lintbells receives a visit from Fabulous Finn

May 21, 2018

Hitchin-based premium natural supplements company Lintbells received a visit this morning from ‘Fabulous Finn’. Now retired, police dog Finn rose to fame when he saved the life of his handler PC Dave Wardell and was stabbed in the process. Finn’s injuries were so severe he wasn’t expected to survive but he surprised everyone by pulling through. His exploits became the subject of a best-selling book, Fabulous Finn: The Brave Police Dog Who Came Back from the Brink. The visit was to say thank you to the Lintbells team who are delighted to be sponsoring his YuMOVE ADVANCE 360. Finn is currently busy supporting his owner to bring about a change in the law. Finn’s Law will see police and service dogs like Finn protected by the law and those who attack them penalised accordingly. Despite the fact that Finn was stabbed with a ten inch blade in his chest into his lung and also through the top of his head, his assailant was only charged with ‘criminal damage’ for inflicting... ...

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Thumper can benefit from a health plan too, says Simplyhealth

May 21, 2018

 With Rabbit Awareness Week just around the corner, Simplyhealth Professionals, the UK’s leading provider of preventive health plans for pets, is reminding veterinary professionals that health plans are suitable for rabbits too. Over 1100 veterinary practices currently offer rabbit health plans provided through Simplyhealth, with over 19,000 rabbits benefiting. Veterinary practices are able to decide what they want to offer as part of their rabbit health plan but Simplyhealth Professional’s National Training Manager, Steve Holman, says popular inclusions include vaccinations for myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease, health checks, nail clippings and flea and worm treatments. Some practices also offer fly strike prevention treatments and discounts on neutering or food. Steve says there is huge untapped potential to offer rabbit health plans and encourage clients to sign up during Rabbit Awareness Week, “There are an estimated 900,000 pet rabbits in the UK* and as the biggest provider of pet health plans we know that just a tiny fraction of owners are being offered an opportunity to sign up to a plan.... ...

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