Vets and MEPs discuss extreme breeding

Jul 9, 2018

Issues must be tackled before they become ‘more disgraceful’ – MEP Raising public awareness is key to tackling the issue of extreme breeding in animals, according to stakeholders at a meeting in Brussels. The discussion in European Parliament brought together veterinary organisations, MEPs, animal charities and kennel clubs. MEP Marlene Mizzi said: “The engineering of animals needs to be addressed before it becomes more disgraceful than it already is. Animals have rights and dignity and deserve our respect.” Attendees discussed brachycephalic animals, but also genetic features such as folded ears, sloping backs and hairlessness. Some suggested finding ways to make these animals less ‘fashionable’ by promoting ‘normal’ dogs and educating the public on what a healthy dog should look like. Other suggestions were developing breed-specific instructions for show judges, involving vets and veterinary organisations in setting healthy breed standards and opening up stud books to improve the gene pool. Kristin Prestrud from the Norwegian Kennel Club said that, over time, many breeds have become more exaggerated: “Short legs have become... ...

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Quick wins for practices with next phase developments of pet health plan portal

Jul 9, 2018

Simplyhealth Professionals, the UK’s leading provider of preventive health plans for cats, dogs, rabbits and horses, has launched the next level of upgrades to its veterinary portal. Now new joiners can be added at the practice – with no need to contact Simplyhealth Professionals via telephone, or send in additional forms. Once the details are entered, the plan is instantly active and all of the client’s information is visible straight away, making it easy to administer the pet heath plan. Once practices start providing pet health plans, they are given full access to the portal and their own log ins. They will be able to see up to date details of payments, as well as process refunds as needed. The company will also continue to offer full support from its practice support contact centre to ensure that more complex questions can be dealt with, saving the practice valuable time and reducing the administrative load. The portal is complemented by a self-service marketing hub that allows practices to create high quality... ...

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Controlling emerging and infectious animal diseases

Jul 2, 2018

The Veterinary Public Health (VPH) Center at Boehringer Ingelheim envisions to be the preferred partner for governments and private partners, enabling them to prevent and control regulated animal diseases that have a global public health and social impact. Epizootic diseases in animals (epidemic outbreaks of infectious animal diseases) remain a substantial challenge for the global livestock industry. With an estimated worldwide economic impact of $120 billion (~€103.8 bn) between 1995 and 2008, they are not only devastating for the economy, but they also compromise the safety and security of the world’s food supply. In addition, some diseases, such as rabies, have a direct impact on human health. Outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) or classical swine fever (CSF) pose severe challenges to governments and the veterinary authorities, with respect to their direct and indirect impact. While the direct effects include loss in productivity, culling of animals and restrictions in the (national) movement of animals, the indirect effects, such as restrictions on international trade, can be very impactful and costly.... ...

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Eco Animal Health Group hikes dividend following “record results”

Jul 2, 2018

The AIM 100 animal health product maker reported adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the year of £19.6mln, up 15% on the year before Eco Animal Health Group Plc (LON:EAH) has hiked its dividend in full-year results as its balance sheet was boosted by sales increases and new market approvals. The AIM-100 animal health product maker reported adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the year of £19.6mln, up 15% on the year before, while revenues increased 9.4% to £67.2mln. The firm also hiked its total dividend for the year 30% to 9.2p. Flagship product The group said its sales growth had been driven by strong performances in its flagship product Aivlosin, which treats diseases in pigs and poultry, which were up nearly 14% compared to last year. Eco also saw growth in its regional markets, with sales in the USA, Canada and South East Asia rising by 35%, 20%, and 23% respectively, however, the group saw a decline of 23 in its Brazilian market which it blamed on slow regulatory responses and a “generally... ...

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All-party Parliamentary group for cats meets

Jul 2, 2018

Group made up of MPs and peers, and supported by two charities, outlines plans for the year that include developing animal welfare policies with cats in mind. The inaugural meeting of the first parliamentary group devoted to cats has taken place at Westminster. Made up of MPs and peers, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats (APGOCATS) is the first group dedicated specifically to felines, and is supported by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Cats Protection. Lord Gardiner, under secretary of state for rural affairs and biosecurity, made a keynote speech during the meeting, setting out a vision for tackling cat welfare issues and promoting the positive contribution cats make to society. Voice for cats Lord Gardiner congratulated the group on creating a voice for cat welfare at Westminster and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring high welfare standards for cats and all animals. APGOCATS outlined its plans for the year ahead, which includes developing animal welfare policies with cats in mind. It will also champion cat-related issues, such as... ...

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First seal pup study to be carried out in the Thames

Jul 2, 2018

Survey aims to shed light on the habitat’s importance  Marine biologists are due to carry out the first ever survey of seal pups in the Thames Estuary, to shed new light on the importance of this critical habitat and identify emerging threats. Led by ZSL, the study will combine aerial, shoreline and boat-based surveys of harbour seal pups, in key colonies along the Kent and Essex coasts. The survey – running from 1-4 July – will also look at the impacts of various threats to the species, including wildlife disease, pressures from coastal construction projects, plastic pollution and inter-species competition for food and habitat. Conservation biologist Thea Cox said: “The outer Thames Estuary has long been known as an important habitat for adult harbour seals – now, our first survey specifically of pupping in the outer Thames Estuary will hopefully also show how vital this habitat is as a breeding habitat for these charismatic marine mammals.” Last year, there were an estimated 1,104 harbour seals and 2,406 grey seals across... ...

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University of Bristol initiative honoured at antibiotic awards

Jul 2, 2018

AMR Task Force wins in the agriculture & food category An antimicrobial resistance research initiative led by vets at the University of Bristol scooped top honours at the Antibiotic Guardian Awards. Led by Dr Kristen Reyher, The ‘AMR Force’, programme won first prize in the agriculture and food category. The British Poultry Council and Wayland Farms were also highly commended. The category – a first for the annual awards ceremony – attracted 16 retailers, universities, independent businesses and farmers, with nine scoring enough to be shortlisted by the judges. The wins in other categories were more focused on healthcare. Now in its third year, the Antibiotic Guardian Awards celebrate organisations and individuals who have shown achievements in tackling antimicrobial resistance at a local, regional or national level. The campaign is led by Public Health England in collaboration with Defra and professional bodies. Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies opened the awards by acknowledging the antibiotic achievements of the poultry meat and pig sectors. The Prescribing & Stewardship award went to... ...

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Horse health experts issue advice on worm control

Jul 2, 2018

Equitape is to be discontinued from October 2018 Horse health professionals have issued best practice advice on managing worm burdens following news that Equitape is to be discontinued from sale in the UK. In a joint press release, Westgate Laboratories, Austin David Biologics and Professor Jacqui Matthews of the Moredon Research Institute stressed the increasing importance evidence-based control. “Wherever possible, we must look to reduce infection risk and break the lifecycle of the worms without overly relying on wormers,”explained Professor Matthews. “Best practice control should include the following; strategic treatments, targeted (diagnostic test led) treatments, annual tests for wormer resistance, good pasture hygiene such as poo picking and implementing appropriate quarantine procedures for new horses.” Equitape is the only licenced product for horses containing praziquantel as a single active ingredient. From October 2018, it will only be available in ‘combination wormers’ also containing either ivermectin or moxidectin, the drugs most commonly used to treat small and large redworm. The researchers state that regular testing should be the focus of any... ...

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Pig gene editing development possible PRRS ‘game changer’

Jul 2, 2018

Scientists have been able to edit pigs’ genes to make them resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, which is endemic in most pig-producing countries. Scientists are one step closer to tackling porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) with the creation of gene-edited resistance to the virus. In what has been described as a game-changing development, scientists have been able to edit pigs’ genes to make them resistant to the deadly disease, which is endemic in most pig-producing countries and costs the industry around £1.75 billion a year in lost revenue across Europe and the US. The disease, which can cause breathing problems and death in young animals – and result in sows losing their litters – infects pigs using a receptor on their cell’s surface called CD163. To date, vaccines have, for the most part, failed to stop the spread of the virus. Therefore, researchers at The University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute – the birthplace of Dolly the sheep – decided to apply gene editing techniques to remove a... ...

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BVA: resistance to reclassified drug ‘worrying’

Jul 2, 2018

The drug, monepantel – sold under the trade name Zolvix – was reclassified from POM-V to POM-VPS in 2017, despite the BVA’s concern it was “in direct opposition to the trend in Europe” The first case of resistance to a key anthelmintic drug for sheep has been reported – slightly more than a year after the VMD reclassified it from POM-V to POM-VPS. At the time the drug, monepantel – sold under the trade name Zolvix – was reclassified in 2017, the BVA registered its concern and warned only vets should prescribe Zolvix to safeguard its efficacy. In a press release in March 2017, then BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “The reclassification of Zolvix from POM-V to POM-VPS is in direct opposition to the trend in Europe, where we are seeing increased control over dispensing of anthelmintics in species where resistance is a serious threat to animal welfare and profitable production.” Report published The first UK report of monepantel resistance in the UK, ”Lack of efficacy of monepantel against trichostrongyle... ...

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