Riding styles can affect movement and lameness

Apr 9, 2018

Researchers assess how different riding styles influence movement symmetry Researchers at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and the RVC have published new research that considers how different seating styles influence a horse’s movement symmetry. The article, published in the journal PLOS One, presents results of research concerning horse-rider interactions. It is hoped the results will help riders identify the early signs of lameness and aid vets in the correct identification of the lame limb. Bio-engineering lecturer Dr Thilo Pfau of the RVC said: “Equine gait analysis has undergone a recent transformation from a purely lab-based science to a practical tool that can be applied to analysing the movement of horses doing ‘everyday tasks’, such as exercise under the rider. “This transformation has been driven by progress in sensor and wireless technology, and PhD students in this field often benefit from a multi-disciplinary team of supervisors. The complementary skill sets of the team from Uppsala and the RVC Structure and Motion Lab is one successful example of this multi-disciplinary approach.” In... ...

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Slaughterhouse CCTV law laid before parliament

Feb 26, 2018

Legislation to come into force in May 2018 New legislation making CCTV cameras mandatory in slaughterhouses has been laid before parliament today. Under the proposals, official veterinarians (OVs) will have unfettered access to the last 90 days of footage, to help them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards. The legislation will come into force in England from May 2018, once it has passed through parliament, and businesses will have six months to comply. BVA president John Fishwick said mandatory CCTV in all areas of the slaughterhouse offers an “essential tool in fostering a culture of compassion that could help safeguard animal welfare”. He added: “We commend the Government’s commitment to provide Official Veterinarians with unrestricted access to the footage, which the veterinary profession has long been campaigning for. “It is vets’ independence and unique qualifications that help ensure the UK will continue to have the highest standards of animal health, welfare and food safety post-Brexit.” BVA and the Veterinary Public Health Association have long campaigned for mandatory CCTV in all... ...

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Alpaca blood donation event brings BBC Countryfile to Derby

Feb 26, 2018

A veterinary company has held its first ever alpaca blood donation event for local farmers, bringing BBC Countryfile TV crews to Derby to document it. Scarsdale Vets has now brought together a group of Derbyshire alpaca owners for its first ever alpaca blood donation event. It aimed to ensure that animals who donated can provide plasma for their own herd, offering a real life-line to baby alpacas, known as cria, if needed. This unusual alpaca event attracted the attention of BBC Countryfile who were keen to find out more about the thinking behind the venture, and presenter Matt Baker took part in the filming for a programme which will be broadcast this weekend, on Sunday 25th February. The alpaca blood donation event took place on Friday 9th February at Scarsdale’s farm and equine unit at Markeaton and brought together a group of four alpaca famers from Derbyshire and some of their animals which were eligible to give blood. In total, six alpacas took part in this event. Each owner had... ...

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Help to run a pet health plan is as important as fee collection, according to practice owners and managers

Jan 22, 2018

Simplyhealth Professionals, the leading provider of preventive health plans for cats, dogs, rabbits and horses, has reported the results of a survey* that found that help to run a preventive health plan is as important to practice owners and managers as help with the processing and collection of fees. The survey of decision makers in non-corporate practices found 79 per cent of respondents used the payment plan provider’s services for payment and collection of fees. Asked what services they would find most useful from their payment provider in the future, respondents rated payment and collection of fees, help with administration running the service and marketing advice and support literature equally highly – with 61 per cent saying they would find it useful if their payment provider offered these services. Preventive health plans have become increasingly popular both as a way of ensuring pets benefit from best practice preventive healthcare and also helping practices grow client loyalty and generate a regular monthly income. Nick White, Head of Sales and Training at... ...

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Hare coursing gangs ‘will stop at nothing’, police say

Jan 22, 2018

Witnesses asked to report information to police   Cambridgeshire Police are urging the public to be vigilant for hare coursers, with one sergeant saying gangs ‘will stop at nothing’ to carry out their pursuits. In an online blog, Sergeant Andy Street said hare coursing gangs often come from various parts of the country. As well as the obvious animal cruelty issues, they frequently ‘drive across fields of newly set crops, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and threatening anyone that challenges them,’ he explained. Using dogs to chase hares for sport is illegal under the Hunting Act 2004 and the Game Act 1831, yet it is one of the local issues that police received most calls about during autumn and winter. Sergeant Street said he has even ‘known of cases where the coursers have driven straight through the farmyard to get onto a field and when asked not to do so have responded with threats of violence, some have even threatened to burn down the farmer’s home.’ Cambridgeshire Police set... ...

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BVA launches seven principles to help inform choice of farm assurance schemes

Jan 22, 2018

 To assist members of the veterinary profession and public to better understand farm assurance schemes on the basis of animal health and welfare, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has developed a farm assurance schemes policy position setting out seven guiding principles. Farm assurance schemes enable customers to make sustainable and ethically informed choices about the food they buy, and allow producers to demonstrate their food products have met independently certified standards at each stage of the supply chain from farm to fork.   The breadth of UK farm assurance schemes is testament to the UK’s leadership in animal health and welfare standards. However, this variety could create a confusing customer experience when food shoppers are navigating both ethical and budgetary considerations as well as the shopping aisles.   BVA’s policy position has been developed as part of BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy and sets out that the veterinary profession has a key role to play in helping inform the public about the animal health and welfare credentials of animal derived food. Based on the... ...

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Innovation is good news and crucial for resource efficiency in the European agri-food chain

Nov 27, 2017

Brussels, 23 November 2017: The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) seizes the opportunity of its event – ‘Innovation is good news – opening eyes to resource efficiency in the European agri-food chain’ in Brussels to highlight the importance of innovation in the agri-food sector. Innovation helps improve food security, drives resource efficiency and encourages sustainable agriculture. Opening the discussion MEP Czeslaw Adam Siekierski, said “In order to meet society’s increasing demands of balancing productivity with environmental protection, European farmers are under increasing pressure to produce the safe, healthy and affordable food for 500 million consumers in a resource efficient and climate friendly manner. While such societal expectations are fully understandable, it is incumbent upon policymakers to create an environment where new technologies and innovation are embraced. Without these elements, European farmers will not be able to meet the global challenges of feeding a growing population while safeguarding natural resources”. It is important that each sector is provided with the opportunity to drive innovation to help contribute to a sustainable development in... ...

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IFIF elects new Chairman and Board of Directors for 2018-2019

Oct 9, 2017

Rome – The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) is pleased to announce that Daniel Bercovici, President of Ajinomoto Eurolysine S.A.S., was elected IFIF’s new Chairman for 2018-2019 at the IFIF 30th General Assembly held on 06 October 2017. Outgoing IFIF Chairman Joel G. Newman, President & CEO of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), led the Federation for the last two years and formally handed over the IFIF Chairmanship at the General Assembly in Rome, where he welcomed Daniel Bercovici’s election: “IFIF is at a critical phase of implementing its strategy in the face of important global challenges and opportunities in the food and feed chain and Daniel Bercovici is well placed to lead the Federation to contribute to the growth of a sustainable feed industry worldwide.” Dr. Bercovici thanked Joel Newman for “his great leadership of IFIF over the last two years and his dedication, value and expertise, which he continues to bring to the Federation at the highest levels since joining the IFIF Board of Directors more than a... ...

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High-flying VCA misses Q3 forecasts as analysts question slowing growth

Nov 1, 2016

        Pet hospital chain VCA ($WOOF) was having a bang-up year until now, repeatedly boosting its revenue and earnings guidance, and deploying its ample cash towards buying up clinics all over the country. But on October 27, the company’s third-quarter earnings release hinted at a slowdown in growth, missing analysts’ estimates. “We’re having probably one of our best years ever,” insisted CEO Bob Antin during a conference call with analysts after the report, pointing to growth in almost all areas and margin improvement. Clearly the Street didn’t agree, though: VCA’s shares, which had been up about 20% for the year, fell more than 4% to $63.20. VCA’s third-quarter sales came in at $656.9 million, and its net income was $58.2 million (71 cents per share). Analysts had been expecting revenues of $666.9 million and EPS of 81 cents, according to Zacks. During the earnings call, analysts hammered Antin and his team with questions about a notable deceleration in same-store sales. Although hospital revenues were up 25%, same-store... ...

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Measuring antibiotic use – what is in the future?

Nov 1, 2016

Antibiotic resistance has reached a crisis in human medicine. Finding ways to combat resistance is a goal of almost all national and international groups concerned with infectious diseases. Practices of antibiotic use in all settings (human, animal and agricultural) are being put under the microscope. As the swine industry braces to confront the practical hurdles, and likely animal health challenges, resulting from Food and Drug Administration Guidance 213 and the new Veterinary Feed Directive requirements in the new year, there are calls for further limits on the availability and oversight of antibiotics for food animals. As in so many other areas of farming, the balance between trust and transparency is shifting. These mounting pressures are not going away, regardless of the uncertainty about the impact that antibiotics used in food animals have on resistant infections in people. That question remains unresolved after five or so decades of debate. But there is little doubt the impact is not “zero”, and therefore all industries have a responsibility to review their practices and... ...

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