New guidance for companion animal establishments and inspections

Jul 16, 2018

New guidance for companion animal establishments and their inspection has been published following six years of research and development by an international team of leading scientists and vets. Just published in the prestigious scientific journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, the ‘Guidelines for Inspection of Companion and Commercial Animal Establishments’, is believed to provide the best evidence-based and most objective information resource of its kind anywhere in the world. For decades, concerns over animal welfare and public health issues have been reported for a variety of animal establishments including dog breeding kennels, pet shops and other facilities. Formal inspection methods have been inconsistent at best. A lack of objective, universal, guidance has played a role in a situation that has long been unacceptable. The new report offers comprehensive coverage for both animal husbandry (including invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds) as well as inspection protocols for a variety of commercial and non-commercial establishments such as pet shops, breeding centres, boarding kennels and sanctuaries. Space for animals, responsible handover, facility layout, human health and... ...

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Antibiotic award for research group

Jul 9, 2018

University of Bristol Veterinary School’s AMR Force wins in the third Antibiotic Guardian Awards run by Public Health England. A University of Bristol research group has won a prestigious award in recognition of its achievement in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR Force, which facilitates AMR research at the university’s Veterinary School, was recognised at the Antibiotic Guardian Awards run by Public Health England. Now in their third year, the awards are attended by leaders in human medicine, veterinary medicine and the agricultural industries from the UK and around the world. Worldwide entries Hosted by chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, the awards this year included entries from as far away as Malaysia and New Zealand. The university’s AMR Force was victorious in the new Agriculture and Food category for its collaboration with researchers, practitioners and industry bodies across the food chain. Public awareness AMR Force aims to promote and facilitate decreasing antibiotic use while improving animal health through a range of approaches addressing differing styles and attitudes. It has also... ...

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Welfare risk as owners fail to research pre-pet purchase

Jun 18, 2018

The 2018 PDSA Animal Wellbeing PAW report reveals “quite shocking” number of owners did not undertake research before taking on a pet. Almost one in four UK pet owners – some 5.2 million people – took on a pet without doing any research, according to the 2018 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report. The figure – representing 24% of owners – has been described as “quite shocking” by PDSA senior vet Rebecca Ashman, who believes lack of knowledge prior to committing to pet ownership is a contributory factor to growing welfare issues surrounding pets today. Speaking on behalf of the 100-year-old charity, she said: “I think the overarching point from this PAW report is 5.2 million people undertook no research before they took on their pet. “I think that’s quite shocking and we feel a lot of problems people see in practice could be resolved if potential owners were doing research really thoroughly to understand the welfare needs of the pet they’re going to take home. “It’s things like 40% of... ...

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Apr 23, 2018

The 2018 APA convention (Asia Pacific Aquaculture) will take place in Taipei (Taiwan) from 23th to 26th of April, and promises to become one of the major aquaculture exhibitions in South East Asia this year. APA18 is organized by the World Aquaculture Society – Asian Pacific Chapter and hosted by the National Taiwan Ocean University. Industry leader Nutriad sponsors the event and will host a technical conference as well.   “Taiwan has been a pioneering country in modern aquaculture and although production is limited today in Taiwan itself, the expertise of many companies and consultants plays a key role in the development of aquaculture in Asia and worldwide,” says Allen Wu, APAC Regional Manager Aquaculture Nutriad, based in Taipei.   This year, Nutriad selected APA18 as its platform for organizing an aquaculture distributor meeting and a customer dining event. Furthermore, Nutriad sponsors a scientific session on “Functional feed for health management.”   “Sponsoring a scientific session provides an excellent opportunity for our central and regional aqua team as well as... ...

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AHT begins equine herpes virus vaccine research

Apr 20, 2018

Charity to design a modified live virus vaccine  The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has begun research into developing a new vaccine to protect against equine herpes virus (EHV-1). Overseen by Dr Neil Bryant, the research comes after the AHT became aware of a pressing need for progress towards a new and improved EHV-1 vaccine. In March, the Newmarket-based charity was called upon to work with the racing industry and affected parties in dealing with confirmed cases of EHV-1 abortion in Yorkshire and Suffolk. This need led to the development of an Equine Industries EHV Vaccine Steering Group, comprising of world-renowned experts on both human and equine herpes virus. Chaired by Professor Joe Brownlie of the RVC, the steering group has looked at the existing scientific evidence and agreed the most appropriate way forward is for the AHT to design a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine. “We’re at the beginning of a very exciting and potentially ground-breaking vaccine development,” said Dr Bryant. “Through our research, we will construct different viruses with... ...

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Healthy soil lifts animal weight

Apr 16, 2018

Managing soil by well-designed grazing is the key to an animal’s growth and wellbeing shows new research that links soil health, pasture value and sustainable production Individual pastures on livestock farms yield surprisingly dissimilar benefits to a farm’s overall agricultural income, and those differences are most likely attributable to the varying levels of “soil health” provided by its grazing livestock, reveals a study published today. The study, produced by an interdisciplinary team of 13 scientists and two PhD students from Rothamsted Research, evaluates how efficiently nutrients are used on a livestock farm, on a field-by-field basis for the first time, and links soil health to animal growth. The team has developed a method to derive the contribution of individual fields to an animal’s growth and, in the process, has opened up the possibility of using field-scale metrics as indicators of animal performance and agricultural productivity. The findings appear in the journal Animal. “The prospect that commercial livestock producers could improve their productivity by purely changing rotational patterns is exciting,” says... ...

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Pirbright Institute wins half a million pounds to look into bird flu research

Apr 9, 2018

A team at the Pirbright Institute has won nearly half a million pounds in funding to look into avian influenza research. The research team, led by Professor Munir Iqbal, who has carried out previous studies on AI and on vaccination, has been awarded £497,995 by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to look into why vaccines can fail. The study, entitled ‘Understanding antigenic diversity, zoonotic potential and immunological prevention of avian influenza viruses affecting poultry’, will run for three years, ending in December 2020.   The International Egg Commission (IEC) recently produced a report looking into the advantages and disadvantages of vaccination against avian influenza. An expert group pointed to some advantages – particularly in developing countries where vaccination could, it said, help to protect a vital source of protein. But it said there were concerns that vaccination could lead to complacency in implementing good surveillance and bio-security measures. And in developed countries the use of avian influenza vaccines could impact on trade, it said. Ineffective There are... ...

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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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Vet school awarded grant for research into AMR

Jan 8, 2018

An award worth up to €2 million has been awarded to the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine to fund research into emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The award was granted by the European Commission to help revolutionise veterinary, medical and environmental health research. It forms part of a landmark €90 million pan-European project between 41 acclaimed veterinary and medical laboratories. The study will see academics from the University of Surrey carry out ground-breaking research into the growing threat of food-borne zoonoses to the population’s health and the rise of AMR. “Recent zoonotic outbreaks such as avian influenza and the emergence of antibiotic resistance are perfect examples of why this research is urgently required,” explained Professor Roberto La Ragione, head of pathology and infectious diseases at the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine. “Transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans poses a significant threat to public health across the world and it is important that we act now to avoid its devastating effects.” Veterinary virology... ...

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Latest Lameness Research: A Summary

Dec 21, 2017

Lameness is a major challenge in dairy herds globally. Digital dermatitis (DD), more commonly known as Mortellaro, is an infectious condition and one of the major causes of lameness, reducing mobility, comfort, feed intake milk yield, and fertility. This infectious condition can spread quickly through the entire herd and can reduce milk yield by at least one litre per cow per day. George Shaw at Provita Eurotech Ltd summarises key points from presentations and scientific posters from researchers across the globe that could help farmers tackle lameness in their herds. ...

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