Australian war dog receives PDSA Dickin Medal

Oct 30, 2018

Belgian Malinois Kuga recognised for actions in Afghanistan A military working dog from Australia has received the PDSA Dickin medal for his extraordinary actions while on duty in Afghanistan. Belgian Malinois Kuga was posthumously awarded the medal – often referred to as the animal’s Victoria Cross – at a special ceremony at The Australian War Memorial in Canberra. “Kuga’s actions undoubtedly saved the lives of his patrol. He took on the enemy without fear, saving his comrades despite suffering serious injury, and is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal,” said PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin. In August 2011, Kuga and his handler were part of a Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) conducting a mission to capture a senior Taliban insurgent in the Khas Uruzgan district. As part of this mission, Kuga was required to search the river’s edge for concealed insurgents or improvised devices. As the patrol moved closer to the target compound, Kuga identified an enemy presence, concealed in the trees. He swam across the river... ...

Read More

Boehringer Ingelheim announces the winners of 2018 BVDzero Case Awards

Oct 30, 2018

Boehringer Ingelheim grants a total prize of 15,000 euros to the top 10 clinical cases Boehringer Ingelheim encourages the search for both clinical and subclinical cases of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) in cattle herds, aiming to improve BVD awareness Boehringer Ingelheim has announced the winners of the 2018 “BVDzero Case Awards”. These awards reflect Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term commitment to promoting health and well-being of farm animals. “Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is one of the most common diseases in cattle, causing harm to the affected animals and huge economic damage to the livestock industry. We aim to challenge the status quo and bring a paradigm shift in the control of BVD,” commented Steve Williams, Head of Global Ruminants/Cattle Strategic Business Unit at Boehringer Ingelheim. This year’s BVDzero Press Conference and Award ceremony took place in Barcelona, Spain on 23 October 2018. The award winners have been selected by the BVDzero Committee, consisting of renowned external experts in the field of bovine health. Boehringer Ingelheim provided a total prize of 15,000 euros for... ...

Read More

WILDEBEEST MUSCLES ALMOST THREE TIMES MORE EFFICIENT THAN A CAR ENGINE

Oct 30, 2018

Wildebeest muscles have an extremely high efficiency of 62.6%, meaning that almost two thirds of the energy used by the muscles appears as useful work in the form of movement rather than as wasteful heat. By comparison, most animal muscles and a car engine are only 25% efficient. These findings come from research conducted by a team from the Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) Structure & Motion Laboratory, who travelled to Botswana to examine how wildebeest are famously able to undertake long-range travel in arid conditions with little to no food or water. In Botswana’s Makgadikgadi National Park there is only one water source in the dry season, the Boteti river, but the best grazing grounds are located 15km-30km away. The RVC’s team, led by Professor Alan Wilson, attached GPS tracking collars equipped with environmental sensors to 20 blue wildebeest to determine how the wildebeest tackle this challenge. Tiny muscle samples, less than 1mm across and 10mm long were also taken from the sedated wildebeest and electrically stimulated to assess the... ...

Read More

One Health research programme awards first £1m to fight infectious diseases

Oct 30, 2018

The Bloomsbury SET, a £5 million translational research programme led by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and funded by Research England, has awarded its first tranche of grants to the total value of £1 million. The programme adopts a ‘one health’ approach to the development of new vaccines, diagnostic tools and mathematical models to combat infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. (One Health is the method of collaboration between different disciplines to achieve the best health outcomes for animals and humans.) Projects conducted by RVC academics were among two of the three recipients of this first tranche of grants. One is a project led by Professor Joanne Webster to examine the treatment of zoonotic hybrid and livestock schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever, in sub-Saharan Africa, which has been awarded £280,274. Meanwhile, the second is a study led by Professor Dirk Werling, in collaboration with Professor Brendan Wren from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), on the development and testing of a vaccine for Streptococcus suis, a disease... ...

Read More

PPR vaccines protect against all strains – study

Oct 23, 2018

Two of the most common peste des petits ruminants (PPR) vaccines protect susceptible animals against all strains of the disease and could be used more widely, according to new research. The study was the first to directly compare the ability of two PPR vaccines to protect susceptible animals against wild-type strains from any of the four genetic lineages of PPR virus. By analysing the immune response of goats, researchers found that found that both vaccines could fully protect against clinical signs of the disease. Their results, published in the Journal of Virology, provide new evidence about how the vaccines protect susceptible animals, detailing both antibody and immune cell responses. The vaccines tested were PPRV/Nigeria/75/1, which is used in most countries outside of India, and PPRV/India/Sungri/96, which is used exclusively in India. “More information on the efficiency of available PPRV vaccines was needed to facilitate vaccine supply and better regional vaccine uptake,” explained Dr Karin Darpel, head of the Orbivirus group at Pirbright. PPRV is a serious disease of sheep and goats... ...

Read More

Yusen Logistics UK awarded national logistics contract for animal healthcare manufacturer Jurox

Oct 23, 2018

Yusen Logistics UK has been awarded national warehousing and final mile distribution for animal healthcare specialist Jurox. Jurox, one of Australia’s leading animal pharmaceutical manufacturers, has selected Yusen Logistics to handle their entire UK portfolio.  In a strategic move to appoint one global logistics partner, Yusen Logistics now handle Jurox’s international cross border air freight, together with their complete outbound and inbound flows from Australia to worldwide destinations. With international markets including United Kingdom and Europe, New Zealand and North America, Jurox are a growing player within the animal healthcare industry.  Supported by their focus on developing a culture that values the very essence of the people committed globally to improving animal health. The most recent award to Yusen Logistics UK provides final mile delivery to Jurox’s customers across the UK and Ireland.  Temperature monitored storage and transportation to over 40 destinations is handled through a dedicated healthcare facility, whilst strict KPIs ensure Jurox’s high quality service levels are always maintained. David Hunter, Global Supply Chain Manager for Jurox, commented:... ...

Read More

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) case confirmed on a farm in Scotland

Oct 23, 2018

A case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has today been confirmed on a farm in Scotland. Precautionary movement restrictions have been put in place at the farm, while the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carries out further investigations to identify the origin of the disease outbreak. There is no existing evidence that the disease can be transmitted from animal to animal, but four cohort animals on the affected farm, including offspring, will be destroyed shortly in line with EU requirements. British Veterinary Association President Simon Doherty said: “The Scottish Government have today confirmed a single case of classical BSE in Aberdeenshire. We understand that this animal was identified as a result of routine control measures in place for fallen stock and that it did not enter the human food chain. For this reason Food Standards Scotland have confirmed this case poses no risk to human health. “While this is clearly a matter of concern for everyone involved in the farming industry and the veterinary profession, we are pleased that the comprehensive... ...

Read More

Badger gut bacteria offers TB protection strategy hope

Oct 23, 2018

New research has shed light on how a badger’s natural gut bacteria could play a role in protecting both them and cattle from tuberculosis (TB). Researchers wanted to know why experimental studies into oral vaccination with the attenuated Mycobacterium bovisvaccine BCG to reduce TB infection in badgers have demonstrated variable protection levels. Among the possibilities for the variation is the resident gut bacteria could influence the success of oral vaccination in badgers – either through competitive exclusion and/or inhibition, or via effects on the host immune system. To explore this possibility, scientists tested whether typical gut commensals, such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have the capacity to impact on the viability and survival rate of BCG, and to modulate the immune response to BCG using an in vitro model. Results of the work, funded by the Morris Animal Foundation and published in BMC Microbiology, found gut bacteria from badgers may be decreasing the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine, but at the same time, killing off M bovis. Jorge Gutierrez, University of Surrey lecturer in... ...

Read More

Drug ‘promising’ development in controlling laminitis – study

Oct 23, 2018

A “proof of concept” study has indicated a drug related to one used to treat human metabolic syndrome prevents ponies affected by insulin dysregulation from developing laminitis. Velagliflozin, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim, is a sodium-glucose co-transport 2 inhibitor that reduces renal glucose reabsorption, promotes glucosuria, and, consequently, decreases blood glucose and insulin concentrations. Novel study In the novel study, scientists from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences School, in Brisbane, set out to determine if velagliflozin reduced hyperinsulinaemia and prevented laminitis in insulin-dysregulated ponies fed a challenge diet high in NSC. An oral glucose test was used to screen 75 ponies for insulin dysregulation, of which 49 ponies with the highest insulin concentrations were selected. These animals were assigned randomly to either a treated group of 12 that received velagliflozin throughout the study, or a control group of 37. All ponies were fed a maintenance diet of alfalfa hay for three weeks, before transferring to a challenge diet. The study authors stated: “The diet induced Obel... ...

Read More

Bayer announces Care4Cattle grant recipients in celebration of advancing cattle well-being

Oct 23, 2018

Three projects to receive Care4Cattle grants for innovations in advancing the well-being of cattle Care4Cattle received over 100 entries across 37 countries, with winners selected from Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom Monheim, September 19, 2018 – In March 2018, Bayer launched its global Care4Cattle initiative in collaboration with the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) to recognize and support innovative-thinking livestock professionals who have created new ways of advancing beef and dairy cattle well-being on the farm. Three projects have been selected to jointly receive the EUR 30,000 Care4Cattle grant funding. The initiative received over 100 entries across 37 countries, highlighting how the advancement of animal well-being is of importance to the on-going progress of the livestock industry. From the entries, a panel of five independent judges selected three stand out projects from across the world based on their viability, practical feasibility and potential to benefit the well-being of cattle globally. Practical solution for pain relief Dr. Dominique van der Saag from Australia was selected for her research into novel ways in... ...

Read More