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Vet school research fostering One Health
"It is essential that our links with European organisations remain strong."
Publication highlights world-class research in the UK

World-class research carried out in UK veterinary schools is fostering links between human and animal medicine, having a real impact on society across Europe and beyond. This is according to a new report published by the Veterinary Schools Council.

Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens writes in the foreword: 'We have long understood the value of improving animal wellbeing as an end in itself, whether to companion animals or livestock.

'But increasingly we learn that our relationship with them is more complex then the moral obligation we feel today or the working relationship we have had for millennia. Their importance to humans extends to the fundamentals of our physical and even mental health - just as we, and our behaviour, are so important to them. At the centre of all this is veterinary research.'

Case studies included in the report - Bridging the gap: Linking animal and human medicine thorough veterinary school research and One Health - are divided into three areas. The first focuses on food security, including the research being carried out to breed out resistance to certain infections in salmon, and new methods of bovine TB testing which have reshaped government thinking. As the global population increases, disease prevention and the production of safe, high quality food are ever more critical.

The second area of research - policy - focuses on meaningful impact in areas such as animal welfare. This means not only identifying problems, but communicating them to those with influence and aiding the improvement of regulations and laws. For example, the research that played a significant role in the EU ban on conventional cages for battery hens.

One Health forms the third area of focus and is an overriding theme. The crossover between animals and humans can be seen in research to control and eliminate rabies, as well as the task of cutting antibiotic use.

Veterinary Schools Council chair Ewan Cameron says Bridging the Gap shows the level of cooperation between UK veterinary researchers and their European colleagues.

"In this context it is essential that our links with European organisations remain strong, firstly in order that the quality of research remains outstanding through a culture of academic exchange, and secondly so that the results of this research can have positive impacts on the lives of humans and animals across many nations."

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Mission Rabies 2017 off to a great start

News Story 1
 More than 4,500 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies in one of the first major drives of 2017.

It took just two weeks in January for Mission Rabies to vaccinate 4,575 dogs in the Meru district of Tanzania.

The team set-up vaccination points across the district and followed-up with door-to-door work, checking vaccination cards and giving vaccines to any dogs that had been missed.

Overall, the charity reached 75 per cent of the local dog population, smashing last year's total and comfortably above the required 70 per cent.  

News Shorts
US science association honours leading Pirbright scientist

A leading scientist at The Pirbright Institute has been honoured by the American Association for the Advancement of Science as a 2017-2018 AAAS Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow.

Dr Anthony Wilson, group leader for integrative entomology at Pirbright, was chosen from a large number of international applicants, together with 14 other infectious disease researchers from around the world.

In selecting the new Public Engagement Fellows, the AAAS said they had demonstrated, "...leadership and excellence in their research careers and interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society".