FRAME in major relaunch in run-up to 50th anniversary

Feb 13, 2018

  FRAME, a medical research charity committed to reducing the number of animals used in scientific testing, has undergone a major rebranding to keep pace with changing technologies and to ensure its work into scientifically-viable, alternative non-animal methods can continue.   The Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) was founded in London in 1969 by Dorothy Hegarty. Its main aim has always been to promote the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction & Refinement) as a way forward for reducing animal experimentation.   This approach focuses on minimising the number of animals used in biomedical research, by replacing experimentation using animals with scientifically proven alternatives that do not, and by refining existing practices to minimise the impact of particular procedures and practises on animals, where they still have to be used.   FRAME’s ultimate aim is the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals in any kind of medical or scientific procedures.   While the charity has gone through an extensive facelift and is sporting a new image, its vision and values are... ...

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FRAME makes senior appointment to bolster profile raising campaign

Feb 13, 2018

  FRAME, a medical research charity committed to replacing the use of animals in scientific experiments, has appointed a senior scientific liaison officer as it embarks on a major profile raising campaign. Amy Beale, a graduate in Equine Science from DMU, has joined FRAME from the classroom after many years’ experience as a science teacher. Amy has always been passionate about promoting positive animal welfare messages through science and previously worked for RSPCA Education. In this role she was responsible for promoting animal welfare resources to teachers and school children. Amy feels her experience at the animal protection charity has given her a solid foundation for her new role at FRAME. She said: “I have always had an interest in issues affecting animal welfare and it was at the RSPCA that I first heard about the three ‘R’s – replacement, reduction and refinement – as a way forward for ultimately ending animal experimentation. This is a philosophy I fully support, and am committed to raising awareness of.” “It is all... ...

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UK practice trials New Zealand dry cow therapy

Feb 12, 2018

Purpose-built drying off trailer allows up to six cows to be treated at the same time – enabling a team of four veterinary surgeons and technicians to treat up to 300 cows per day.   An innovative on-farm selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) service adopted nationwide in New Zealand is being trialled by a UK vet practice. Meadows Farm Vets based in Stoke Prior, Worcestershire, has invested in a purpose-built drying off trailer that allows up to six cows to be treated at the same time – enabling a team of four veterinary surgeons and technicians to treat up to 300 cows per day. Reduce antibiotic use The practice has teamed up with Norbrook to provide the on-farm service, which, they hope, will significantly lower the rate of mastitis and reduce the use of antibiotics in dairy farming in the UK. Practice director Richard Aylett said while many dairy farmers had adopted best practice for teat sealants and the responsible use of antimicrobials, many were still anxious. Ease pressure Mr... ...

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Animal welfare a top food concern, survey finds

Feb 12, 2018

FSA survey monitors changes in consumer attitudes  Animal welfare has been named one of the top food issues of concern in the Food Standards Agency’s Biannual Public Attitudes Tracker. The survey, conducted with consumers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, monitors changes in consumer attitudes towards the FSA and food-related issues. Amongst the top food issues of concern is the amount of sugar in food, food waste, food prices and animal welfare. Respondents also raised concerns about food hygiene when eating out, food poisoning, food additives and chemicals from the environment. Forty-five per cent of respondents reported a concern about food safety in UK restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways, whilst 42 per cent of respondents reported a concern about food safety in UK shops and supermarkets. The survey also revealed that the majority of people trust that food is what it says it is and that it is accurately labelled (74 per cent). Salmonella and E-coli were by far the most commonly known types of food poisoning (total awareness of 89 per cent and... ...

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Government testing foot and mouth contingency plans

Feb 12, 2018

Officials to assess current state of readiness  Government departments across the UK are working together to test contingency plans for an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. ‘Exercise Blackthorn’ will see officials from DAERA, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, DEFRA and the APHA test all current contingency plans for an outbreak of the disease. The officials aim to assess the current state of readiness whilst identifying issues and areas for improvement. “Regularly testing our contingency plans and joining up across the UK is an important part of assuring our capability to respond to disease outbreaks. Exercises like this provide an opportunity for teams across government and industry to engage and to learn lessons in a controlled and safe environment,” said chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens. “The risk of foot and mouth disease arriving in the UK is low but ever-present. Government monitors disease outbreaks and incidence around the world assessing risk for the UK and taking action to mitigate risk where possible.” Under the EU Foot and Mouth Disease Directive,... ...

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Discovery could help fight classical swine fever

Feb 12, 2018

Scientist develops ‘safe, inexpensive’ vaccine  New research could help China to fight classical swine fever, whilst preventing it spreading to other countries that are currently free from the disease. This is according to a scientist from Kansas State University, who says he has developed a safe, inexpensive new vaccine. It uses a protein from the virus rather than live or attenuated virus – meaning the vaccine poses no biosecurity threat to the US. The vaccine has been licensed to a Chinese animal health company so it can be tested in the field. Classical swine fever was eradicated in the US in 1978 but still plagues pork producers in China and other countries. Each of the 700 million pigs raised annually in China receives two doses of the existing vaccine. Professor Jishu Shi also discovered specific antibodies that can be used to differentiate between infected and vaccinated pigs. Animals given the current modified live virus vaccine test positive for classical swine fever. Prof Shi is working with colleagues at the US... ...

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New vaccine protects horses against strangles

Feb 12, 2018

Strangvac highlights potential of DNA sequencing for human and animal health  A new protein-based vaccine that protects horses against strangles could available by 2020. Scientists from the Animal Health Trust (AHT), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Karolinska Institute and Interval AB have developed the Strangvac vaccine to protect horses from this devastating disease. Writing in the journal Vaccine, the researchers report the results of three experiments on 16 horses. The horses were exposed to the strangles infection and monitored twice a day for eight days. They found that, of the 16 horses vaccinated with Strangvac, just three started to show clinical signs of disease. None of the horses developed adverse reactions following vaccination. “We are delighted to have shown that our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80 per cent of horses from this dreadful disease,” said Prof. Jan-Ingmar Flock, CEO of Intervacc AB. “Strangles is a scourge of the equine world and the development of Strangvac has the potential to prevent many thousands of horses from falling ill each year.”... ...

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Equine health survey highlights dental problems

Feb 12, 2018

Dental disease a common issue for horses in the UK   The importance of raising awareness of equine dental disease has been flagged up in the latest National Equine Health Survey (NEHS). The NEHS annual snapshot, conducted by the Blue Cross in conjunction with the BEVA, quizzed 5,235 people and returned records for 15,433 horses. Dental disease emerged as a significant problem for horses in the UK, with 841 suffering from trouble with their teeth. The issue was the sixth most frequently recorded individual disease syndrome in the survey. A total of 54 per cent of horses with dental problems were treated by a veterinary surgeon and 46 per cent received attention from an equine dental technician. The survey also shows that just over 90 per cent of horses received regular dental checks, with around two-thirds receiving annual checks and one third receiving checks every six months. Commenting on the findings, equine vet Dr Wendy Talbot from Zoetis UK said: “It is tricky to know if a horse has dental... ...

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Vets perform novel surgery to treat pulmonic stenosis

Feb 12, 2018

French bulldog saved from euthanasia after traditional methods failed In a UK first, veterinary cardiologists have performed a groundbreaking heart procedure on a French bulldog with severe pulmonic stenosis. Four-month-old puppy Gracie was admitted to Davies Veterinary Specialists and diagnosed with type B stenosis, marked right ventricular hypertrophy and an atrial septal defect. After a standard balloon valvuloplasty failed, cardiology specialist Pedro Oliveira and his team opted to implant a metal stent across the pulmonic valve. It is thought to be the first case in the UK – and one of only a few in the world – to be treated using this technique. Pulmonary stenosis is one of the most common congenital heart defects in dogs. In severe cases, dogs are at risk of sudden death, heart failure and decreased survival time compared to unaffected dogs. French bulldogs are predisposed to the condition and tend to respond less well to the treatment of choice, balloon valvuloplasty, than other breeds. Gracie initially showed improvement after the balloon valvuloplasty procedure, but... ...

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Greeting Card Association backs #breedtobreathe campaign

Feb 12, 2018

Greeting Card Association backs #breedtobreathe campaign With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the BVA has written to the greeting card industry appealing for their help to suppress the demand for brachycephalic pets. A survey of UK vets found that looks, popularity and a high profile on merchandise are the top three reasons why people buy pugs and other ‘flat-faced’ animals. But vets also said that a high percentage of owners were unaware of the breed’s potential health problems before they took the plunge. To help raise awareness of the problems facing brachycephalic breeds, the trade body for the greeting card industry has highlighted the issue with its members. Greeting Card Association chief executive Sharon Little said: “Greeting cards reflect lifestyle trends so, unsurprisingly, popular animals are featured on greeting cards, as well as many other products. We have written to our members to raise awareness of the campaign and have publicised it through the trade press. “Card publishers and retailers have up to a year’s lead times, but we’re sharing... ...

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